The Arianne Question

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Arianne Martell. Art by Magali Villeneuve

Hello again, Gatewatch loyalists!

FaB—ahh, sorry—Axey here, with our very first (of many, I hope) editorial/discussion posts!

I’d like to start off by saying Thank You to all of you for giving us a chance to try and give you your Game of Thrones info fix the way we want to present it. I won’t sling mud or go into any wild, wacky details as to why the move was necessary for us, but… still. We appreciate you being here.

Water under the proverbial bridge. This is the now. As my brethren have already stated, we want to make this site into something every Game of Thrones fan will want to come to, so don’t be shy about recommending things you’d like to see.

Onto topic: This post is going to be a book-to-screen adaptation discussion. As such, we will be talking about many things that may spoil the books (and probably the show). Unsullied viewers are strongly advised not to read this or take part in the discussion that follows. It is for this reason that spoiler text will not be required in this thread. 

(My original thought was to post this on our BRAND NEW FORUMS, by the way, but not enough people even know we have forums yet, and sadly, forum topics are not auto-announced on Twitter.)

We good? Good! On with the show!

As many of you know by now, the role of Arianne Martell—the eldest child of Prince Doran Martell and the heir to the Dornish crown—will be played by absolutely no one. Some fans are stunned by the omission; Arianne is very much a player in the game, one with her own distinct agenda. One would think that her plot, being a flawed failure, would play out quite wonderfully on television. Additionally, having Arianne would at least provide an opportunity to show more televised sex! A steamy scene or two with a wayward member of the Kingsguard seems tailor-made for this show. Why would HBO pass on that?

But let’s get one thing straight: Arianne is cut. The show is listing Trystane as Doran Martell’s heir. If Trystane is the heir, Arianne is gone.

So it begs the question: Why cut her? 

I have a few theories.

One is the obvious: How much Dorne do you show? If they only have room for a handful of scenes featuring Dorne (quite possible with only 10 episodes per season), you have to choose the most critical scenes and see what else you can amalgamate. You need some sort of Crown Myrcella caper, else why have Dorne at all? You need conflict, and the situation provides that. Do you need Arianne for that? Not if her role in it can be given to someone else.

Also, there’s the question of character interest. Charisma. Is Arianne more interesting than the Sand Snakes? I personally didn’t think she was. Before the casting sides started leaking, I was worried that we’d have all the Sand Snakes amalgamated down to one—or worse, none. I personally prefer the Sand Snakes to Arianne (though not enough to cut her altogether). So if I do, other people might too, including the show runners.

Some people focus on the importance of Dornish female primogeniture, and that’s something, because I agree that is one very cool aspect of Dorne. The book plot to raise the banners for Queen Myrcella is a pretty major part of the story. No one considers female primogeniture a viable threat to the Iron Throne—except the Dornish.

In fact, I believe it’s so big that the television show is going to use it to Create a Moment on the show.

Can’t picture it? Hear me out.

The show has done it before; Creating Moments is kind of a television staple. They take something that in the source material is mentioned as rote, or even casually, and they gloss it up in some way.

Should Jon Snow merely find the dying body of Ygritte? NO! It’s better to see her take the arrow with his own big brown eyes!  Show us his pain!

Does it make a lot of sense to have Sansa change her hair color after she’s arrived at the Eyrie? NO! But she needs her staircase moment! Make sure the dress is awesome!

Did it work? In most cases, yes. The Jon/Ygritte scene was perfect, and the only people who bitched about the Sansa hair thing were book-readers. Most Unsullied either didn’t notice the hair color change, or thought, Well, she’s going out among the people of the Vale. Why not a change? Remember, in the book, Sansa’s hair change was about Baelish carefully playing the game, accounting for every minute detail. On the show, it was about transformation—and it put a nice little exclamation point at the end of Sansa’s season 4 arc.

(You could also argue that Baelish’s seeming lack of planning ahead in episode 8 was so that Sansa could have her Moment, and it somewhat weakened his own arc. That is true, and I didn’t like that he suddenly became sacrificially inept so that Sansa could come into her own. But—another television truth—sometimes the story arcs of lesser characters are sacrificed for the story arcs of “main” characters.)

This probably is a story arc thing. The television rule is that every (primary) character should have a beginning/middle/ending story arc per season. Character arcs make writers feel smart, and actors love them. Who doesn’t love a journey? Sadly, we will sometimes see logic or canon sacrificed all in the name of an arc. Did anyone wonder how the guards at the Eyrie simply allowed the departure of the Hound with Arya Stark? Did that make any sense whatsoever? Were they all so emotionally battered by the loss of their beloved (ha) Lady Arryn that they simply did not care any more? I guess it’s possible!

The logical conclusion, however, is that it simply did not fit into the beats of Arya’s arc. That, and there’s only so much time to show stuff in a 10-episode season. (In my headcanon, the Hound slew every guard at the Bloody Gate that attempted to stop him from leaving, because Clegane is awesome like that. Yes, he bloodied the Bloody Gate.)

Now we get the omission of Arianne. I have no proof as yet, but I believe this is to create a Moment, either for Doran or for Myrcella herself. (Television show Myrcella being older than book Myrcella, she may be more actively involved in her own plot.) If we are constantly reminded of a woman’s right to rule—which is what Arianne does, essentially—then the Myrcella plot won’t be a plot twist. They won’t have that big Moment. I honestly think they’re looking to play it out as a triumphant eureka! thing. Or at least the beginning of one.

“What the fools in King’s Landing do not yet understand is that we can crown Myrcella, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, and First of Her Name.”

Slash! Aieee!

“Dammit. Oh well. Trystane! Go wed Daenerys! Fire and Blood!”

Aside: No Quentyn? I believe Trystane is actually going to play the role of Quentane. I suspect he will be sent to marry Dany once the Terrible Thing happens to Myrcella. In this Shakespearean version, Myrcella (Juliet) may actually be killed, and then I think we’ll get to see Trystane (Romeo) get roasted. That’s how his arc ends: fatally.

(What? Myrcella could totally bite it. If they’re not casting Darkstar, someone competent may actually be swinging that sword!)

So then. Is this a good idea?

I guess we’ll see. I’m not sure.

The one thing I am very confident of is that David and Dan aren’t closet misogynists who hate the idea of women ruling things.  I’ve met these bastards; I can’t say I know the inner workings of their evil hive mind, but even from my short contact I could tell they were keenly-intelligent and progressively-minded dudes.

They catch enough flak from people battering them about the whole Game of Rapes thing. They’re not going to change this very important plot point just because they think men are way awesomer. They’ll change it to try and make it hit harder.

Will it work? I have no clue. All I know is the changes will spur debate and disagreement amongst the faithful.

Sometimes that’s not a bad thing. But we will have to wait and see.

What do you all think?

168 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Maybe both Arianne and the Greyjoys will be introduced in season 6 as to not confuse the viewers too much. However, that doesn’t explain what Myrcella will be doing this season… Or (if it happens this season) how the battle of Mereen will play out.

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    2. I can see D&D using Ellaria as the role of Arianne in the Queen Maker plot.

      If Trystane talks about a sister, or Doran mentions a daughter, then we can assume Arianne is being held off until next season. Otherwise her fate may be cut. But if Trystane takes over Quentyn’s role, it only makes sense for another sibling to be in the wings. They’ve already established the bastard to heir idea with Ramsay, I don’t think they need it in Dorne as well.

      The show has already established 8 daughters for Oberyn, yet we are only seeing 3 this season. Same may be true for Arianne. The snippet about Doran having a male heir isn’t different from the book as Arianne overheard Doran mention this and she thinks she is being skipped over.

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    3. I, for one, liked Arianne’s character – more so than the Sand Snakes – and am sorry to see her eliminated. However, I understand the need to reduce the number of new characters, particularly this late in the game. Perhaps it was also thought that viewers would have a better emotional connection to Oberyn’s daughters and their desire to avenge their father’s death.

      I hope that Dorne’s practice of equal primogeniture isn’t lost in the show. It is possible for it to play out as Axey suggests and focus it on Myrcella and her crowning. Still, I would prefer that the Dornish story line to be about the Martells and the distinctiveness of their culture. With the rumors of Jaime appearing in Dorne, I guess that we will get more of a focus on their hatred of the Lannisters.

      Probably shouldn’t complain. Right now, I am more concerned about the lack of the Greyjoys, the Griffs and Manderely.

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    4. Fuelpagan,

      Although, in the books, Ellaria was a (oft ignored) voice of peace. So it’s a 180 with her character.

      … But damn, I would love to see Indira Varma stirred up and in a rage.

      … I need to go rematch ROME.

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    5. Darkstar jokes never get old.

      I can understand a lot of the streamlining reasons for slipping parts of Arianne into other characters, ones more tightly connected to Oberyn and more physically active than Arianne as well. This probably solves some story issues, having both fighters and plotters in one.

      But I still wish Arianne was in the show, because a woman ruling in her own right is hugely significant. Not as someone who will need to make a grasp at the crown (and fail, as the Queenmaker plot does), but as someone who is born the heir, has been raised in the role, and naturally has the right to rule. Obviously we can’t make final judgment until we see the show, but I’m sighing. I like Arianne a lot. She’s important to a lot of people.

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    6. mariamb,

      I suspect season 6 will be ALL about the Greyjoys. All you would really get this season would be the Kingsmoot. No real action. I would say the show might casually mention ‘em this season, save ‘em for 6, and then hit us full force in the face. KRAKENS EVERYWHERE.

      I mean, think about it. Every season has featured a New Bad. (Or Opposition rather.)

      Last season was the Thenns.

      This season will be the scheming Dornish.

      I suspect the Greyjoys will be that for season 6.

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    7. A smart but very unlikely way to solve things would be to send Arianne to Essos instead of Quentyn or Trystane. This would mean that she will not be seeking Dany but rather Aegon (provided that he will be cast) and can still be introduced in season 6. Trystane on the other hand could play part of Ariannes actual book role, fearing to be cast aside in favor of his older sister whom he suspects to be on a secret mission beyond the Narrow Sea and therefore deciding to take matters into his own hand by crowning Myrcella with the help of his cousins. This of course only makes sense if show Doran has some way of knowing of Aegons survival (probably through Varys? Which would in turn be a smart way to illuminate some aspects from the eunuch’s masterful endgame).

      I know it’s highly unlikely that things will play out this way but I like the idea of it. Anyone with me?

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    8. Obviously we don’t know what will happen in future books, but cutting Arianne sort of implies cutting Aegon as well, since both are probably going to have a common story arc in TWOW. Which would make sense in some way, considering how out of the blue the Aegon thing appeared even to many book readers.

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    9. Sue the Fury,

      Exactly! Arianne was born to rule. She is not attempting to ascend to power through marriage. Yes, she can be headstrong and foolish but that makes her more interesting (for me, anyway). I’m disappointed. And I still don’t completely understand why…if there is the need to eliminate characters, then give us one Sand Snake and Arianne.

      I suspect that much of her role will be transferred to Obara. I’m all for giving Ellaria (and Indira Varma) an expanded role but I would rather that she remain a proponent of peace.

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    10. I think they can establish the Dornish inheritance system without Arianne. If the Sand Snakes take over the Queenmaker plot (which they would have done in the books anyway, if not for their imprisonment), they can just start calling Myrcella “queen” and even keep her dialogue with Arianne in:

      “Did something bad happen to Tommen?” “He fell in with evil men, Your Grace, and I fear they have conspired with him to steal your throne.”

      It could be an act of desperation for a love-struck Tryst or something too, but there’s no reason to overly complicate it. The Sand Snakes are going to be out for vengeance for their father, and the Queenmaker plot still fits in fine for them.

      “The one thing I am very confident of is that David and Dan aren’t closet misogynists who hate the idea of women ruling things. I’ve met these bastards; I can’t say I know the inner workings of their evil hive mind, but even from my short contact I could tell they were keenly-intelligent and progressively-minded dudes.”

      Thank you. I’m so sick of people shitting on them. Based on their answer to the Tysha question on the panel, it’s clear that they spend a lot of time thinking about what will work best and how they’re going to get where they need to be. Sometimes my confidence in them can get shaken, but overall, they’ve done a superb job adapting this to the visual medium.

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    11. I’ m thinking about the butterfly effect that George always mentions. We know what Arianne has done but we don’t know how her story will evolve in WOW. She is going to meet Aegon, we don’t know if this story arc will be significant.
      Maybe the double D’s know something we still don’t or they just decided to ignore that plot altogether (Jon Con and young Griff).

      I will miss Arianne.

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    12. Maybe Arianne will arrive at the end of season 5 or in season 6. The first scene we see her may be a scene of her with Aegon. She may still get mentioned in season 5 some times by Trystane and Doran. Daario wasn’t in the season 3 casting reel, and Arianne may also be a big deal like Daario is, but just hasn’t been cast yet or will be introduced late in the season. Plausible enough to me. With all the new characters of Dorne which are introduced at the start of season 5, adding Arianne at the start as well may be a little bit too much, but she may still arrive late in the season, like Daario did.

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    13. Axechucker,

      I hope you’re right. It makes perfect sense to establish the Greyjoys as the new major players in season 6. Strictly speaking they aren’t that new but there are so many Ironborn aspects we haven’t come to see on the show yet as they were either cut ore postponed. I therefore have high hopes that we might get references to the Greyjoy uncles in season 5 and possibly a scene containing Balon’s fall and the arrival of a certain ship at the horizon…

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    14. What I don’t understand is how they’re going to explain why Doran is such a good player of the game without the two people his plans revolve around – Arianne and Quentyn. In the books he makes a deal to wed Arianne to Viserys and makes sure Quentyn is prepared to rule Dorne while his sister rules Westeros. When Viserys dies, he sends Quentyn to marry Daenerys and Arianne takes his place as the heir. In the meantime, he has Myrcella, the king’s only remaining sibling, in Dorne and engaged to his third child, Trystane.

      But if the show has only Trystane, then what? His engagement is only recent and was proposed by Tyrion, not Doran. How do they show he has been planning his revenge ever since Elia died? Will the Martells’ connection to Targaryens be completely lost in the show?

      And if Myrcella dies and Trystane takes on Quentyn’s role and then dies… Then Dorne has no heir? I don’t know. It just seems like this decision creates more problems than it solves.

      Besides, Arianne’s role as a woman (of colour) who is destined to rule a nation and fights for her rights cannot be overestimated.

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    15. Axechucker,

      With all the new characters in Dorne it would make sense for D&D to want to have a familiar face to provide an anchor for the plot. Ellaria’s want for revenge and connection to the Sand Snakes is already built in. As well as her sexual appetites.

      The voice of peace may be switched to Arianne when introduced in a later season if it really is important.

      As far as the Greyjoys, I hope you’re right. Right now I’m concerned how D&D convincingly get Reek to escape. I think Yara will be captured and her being tortured will bring back the Theon within him.

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    16. I don’t think we can be sure of anything. That includes the plot to crown Myrcella and Trystane travelling to Meereen to woo Dany. Sure, most would assume that both, or at least one of those things would happen, but it would not surprise me if they don’t want to spend time on the crowning Myrcella subplot, especially with Jaime and Bronn going to “rescue” her(which will so obviously fail, ala Yara’s Dreadfort mission). As for Trystane taking over for Quentyn, if “Aegon” is not included on the show, then that leaves Dorne supporting no one or Dany. In order to support Dany, the show can not have her spurn the marriage proposal, and it certainly can’t have Trystane scorched to death.

      One possibility is that the showrunners, knowing more than we do, may have info from George about who exactly Dorne will support moving forward. I am assuming it is “Aegon”, but it could be that Doran and Arianne will sniff out that he is a fake, and they won’t support him. I highly doubt they will support Dany. So that leaves them supporting nobody, or it could lead Doran to finally accept Arianne’s plot to crown Myrcella, leaving Trstane to potentially be her king. If that is the case, the show could just cut the sideplots and just have Doran support the crowning Myrcella plot from the start, hell, it may be his idea on the show. But then that takes away from Doran’s character, making it seem like he had no plan until Tyrion(Not Twin, HBO) sent Myrcella to him.

      I simply can not believe they are saying Doran will only have one child in the show. It makes little sense for the ruler of Dorne to only have one child, with no spare heirs. Unless they are going to make it into another Selyse situation, where his wife couldn’t have more children. Without any spare heirs, it limits Doran’s options in the show, and takes away from his long and meticulous plot for revenge, potentially. Without a daughter, he can’t have originally sought to marry her to Viserys, and that removes his long game plans, and makes it seem like he truly didn’t have any plans for revenge, until Myrcella fell into his lap. I really wish they would have included Arianne, not because she was that great of a character(she is okay), but because of what it does to Doran. I have zero idea of how they will be able to handle him with only one child.

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    17. Chebyshov: Based on their answer to the Tysha question on the panel, it’s clear that they spend a lot of time thinking about what will work best and how they’re going to get where they need to be. Sometimes my confidence in them can get shaken, but overall, they’ve done a superb job adapting this to the visual medium.

      I have to say, I wasn’t impressed with that answer. They were explaining how they couldn’t get into flashbacks and they weren’t inside Tyrion’s head, etc. Except we had a lengthy scene in season 1 explaining who Tysha was already. So we didn’t need a flashback or to be inside Tyrion’s head, and know she was his wife he loved. I remember this being discussed quite a lot when “The Children” aired. Many Unsullied fans said (and ASOIAF fans reported what their Unsullied friends had said) that they remembered the Tysha story. If not her name, they remember Tyrion had a wife and that awful story. I think D&D underestimate the audience sometimes.

      But they do have a lot of difficult choices to make, and I know hindsight is a hell of a lot easier than making those judgments. When it’s just the group of writers in a room, having to make those calls, it can’t be easy to know what the audience will or won’t recall from earlier seasons, or what is too much.

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    18. I can’t post on the forums because it says I must be logged in to create a new topic. So how do I go about logging in?

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    19. While I hate losing Arianne, I can foresee Myrcella taking on some of Arianne’s storyline from the books as well. I daresay in the show, once Trystane’s journey to Meereen goes fatally awry, Doran might send Myrcella and a Sand Snake to meet with Aegon (assuming he isn’t cut), in an attempt to marry Myrcella to Aegon. If Doran believes that ‘Young Griff’ truly is his nephew, Elia’s son, that makes Aegon the heir to Dorne as well (assuming primogeniture is out the window). This would also be enough basis for him to throw the support of Dorne behind Aegon’s claim to the throne. And an alliance between Aegon and Myrcella ‘Baratheon’ would help convince the other kingdoms of the legitimacy of the claim. Whether they have to other-throw/kill Tommen in order for this to happen, or just wait for someone else to do it, is as yet unclear.

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    20. I think the effects that Arienne’s omision will have depend on where the Aegon plot goes and, in that matter D&D surely know more than us. I think if the Aegon plot ends up in quick failure they might have decided to cut all his arc and Arienne, and transfer her other roles to the other Dornish. If, on the other hand, they do include Aegon on the TV series I see no reason for not including Arienne, but as a work around they might make Trystane go to Dany and die and, as Doran would have no more children they might use a “bastards are respected and can inherit in Dorne” card and make Obara the heir, wedding her to Aegon (thing wich book’s Obara would probably NEVER do but anyways)… Still I think that if they really cut Arienne we should not have high hopes for Aegon and his arc.

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    21. About the guards at the Bloody Gate: to me, it looked like they didn’t believe the Hound and were humoring him so he’d leave. This scruffy teenager is a noblewoman you want to ransom to Lady Arryn? Lol, she’s dead, gtfo.

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    22. When it comes to Arianne’s role in the Game of Thrones, there are several issues to consider. First among them is the inherent difficulty of adding new characters to a show in its fifth season that the audience will feel invested in. Dorne is already in line to give us a significant number of new characters, but with the stated seven season plan from Benioff and Weiss, the endgame must always be kept in mind. Now Arianne is the heir to Dorne in her own right, so she obviously has a place in the story of Ice and Fire. But the leaked chapter from The Winds of Winter suggests that Arianne’s story will cross paths with the alleged Aegon Targaryen. If Arianne is destined to marry Aegon in the books and Aegon is cut from the show, then the writers need to either give Arianne a different story arc in Season 6 or kill her off. Otherwise, she becomes a loose end for the show to deal with.

      And I do believe that (f)Aegon Targaryen will be cut from the show. There are several problems with including him as a character.

      First, Daenerys has been clearly set up as the last Targaryen in the show (excluding Maester Aemon, who isn’t going to play a role in the endgame of the series). If the popular theory about Jon Snow’s parentage is confirmed, then we’re already set up to reveal another character with Targaryen lineage in later seasons. That’s going to be a major reveal if and when it happens, but it could lose some of its impact if Aegon is unveiled first. It could still work if Aegon is established as a fake and then Jon is revealed as the true heir shortly thereafter, but it’s still quite a leap for viewers to make.

      Second, it’s widely speculated that Aegon isn’t legitimate – that he’s actually a Blackfyre puppet of Varys and Illyrio. That reveal is fine on the page, but for the show, you’re asking the audience to make a major leap of faith by telling them this brand-new character is the long-lost Targaryen prince and then, a few episodes later, revealing that oh wait, he actually isn’t – he’s just a pretender. That’s pulling the rug out pretty fast. In my experience, TV viewers are willing to tolerate a surprising amount of spontaneous plot revelations, but they do not appreciate being jerked around. Obviously removing Aegon would significantly alter Varys’ endgame as well, but that’s a conversation for another day.

      Third, Aegon arrives in Westeros before Daenerys – a very short time after his introduction. Viewers have been waiting for Daenerys to head over to Westeros for four full seasons, and they’re going to have to wait at least one more before she can extricate herself from Meereen and set sail. Patience is already wearing thin. Aegon being revealed and then almost immediately heading over to Westeros while Dany remains mired in Meereen is only going to further increase people’s frustrations with the character’s story at a time when she can ill afford it.

      Unless Aegon is majorly important to the endgame of the series – say he takes the Iron Throne and is sitting on it when the White Walkers finally invade – then I think that he will be cut. And if Arianne Martell’s primary role from The Winds of Winter onward is to be involved in his story, then it makes sense that she would be cut too.

      It’s unfortunate, because Arianne is a cool character, and the fact that she’s a female heir in her own right is not something to be tossed aside lightly. But speaking strictly from a plot perspective … Arianne’s role in the plot to crown Myrcella can be taken by the Sand Snakes. The Sand Snakes are popular among readers because they’re cool characters, both conceptually and visually. This distinctiveness runs into an obstacle, however, because in the novels they do precisely nothing of any significance – at least so far. They rant to Doran about their desire to avenge their father Oberyn, and Doran promptly has them locked up so that they can’t stir up any trouble. Later, after they’re released, Obara is sent to hunt down Darkstar (thank God he’s gone, by the way) and Nymeria goes to King’s Landing to claim Dorne’s seat on the Small Council. That’s it. That’s the extent of the Sand Snakes’ involvement in the story so far. Prior to their mention in the show and the leaked casting sheet, many of us were wondering if the Sand Snakes might be combined into one or two composite characters, or else cut entirely.

      That speculation stands in direct contrast to the casting sheet and leaked audition videos, which suggest that the Sand Snakes will be significant players on the show. Obara is in line to fight a series regular character who does not cross her path in the books, and the leaked audition video for Tyene suggests that she will share a scene with Bronn. Obara’s conversation with The Woman Off-Screen (probably Ellaria) suggests that they are in line to take a much more active role in the show, and the logical conclusion to draw is that they will be involved with the plot to crown Myrcella. As Oberyn’s daughters, they have a clear and direct reason to seek revenge on the Lannisters. When you take the long view, the Sand Snakes can fill a significant part of Arianne’s role in the story – without the potential baggage that the Princess herself brings.

      Once again, it’s unfortunate. But I trust David Benioff and Dan Weiss immensely, and I do not believe that they made the decision to cut Arianne (or Quentyn for that matter) lightly. If the show is going to run for only seven seasons, then hard choices are going to have to be made. This is one of those choices.

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    23. I would love to say I was captured by the Dorne of the books, but aside from Oberyn and some of the Quentyn stuff, I really wasn’t (so my opinions are a bit coloured by that).

      At the same time, I think Arianne was important to have as a character just because of how much actual, recognized power she has. The female characters who command that level of respect are actually quite few (Dany, and Cersei spring to mind). I also feel like she was a character who would have been very suited to television, as indeed much of the Dorne plots would. It was an aspect of the story I was quite looking forward to on the show, because in many ways I feel like they could pull it off a bit better (my thoughts on Feast and Dance in general, to be honest) than it was in the books.

      Arianne’s plotting and pulling of the strings would have helped fill the void while Tyrion’s buggered off from King’s landing.

      Also, an aside, and I don’t know if anyone’s suggested this before, but a while back I was thinking about Ellaria and what she’ll be up to. It occurred to me that maybe D&D intend to have her fill in for Taena in the books. That way they could maintain her pacifism, as well as keep Cersei’s not-a-lesbian subplot in the show without casting anyone new (a random prostitute could do this just as well, I guess). I hope that’s NOT the case. If a subplot ever deserved to be cut it was that one. ;p

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    24. Good old speculation and discussions….mmmmm ;)
      From the moment I heard of the casting calls and some more details…I am pretty much fan of my own theory lol:

      Who is the heir of Dorne in the show?: Trystane
      If he dies (and something is telling me he would) who is next in line?
      The living children of Doran s Brother in other words sand snakes…
      Keeping in mind dornish differences I expect the plot from Ellaria & Sand Snakes (angry because Oberyn s death and Doran doing nothing at all) to take the dornish throne for themselves.
      So, Myrcella is doomed, Trystane would probably end as many of you predict.

      But, to put Dorne aside…what the hell is gonna happen with Tyrion s part of the story? No word of Connington, no word of fake dragons, no word of turtles :D
      Are they cut out? I believe so, and it is very, very interesting move from D & D.

      On the other aside it is much harder to speculate now, because all these stories we are talking about are not finished in the books, so after we really do not know their importance in bigger frame.

      I am glad you are back – I am glad I am back :)

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    25. Sue the Fury,

      That’s not in the books either. Arianne thinks Doran is grooming Quentyn as his heir and she is pissed. She is kept on the sidelines and proposed these ridiculous marriage matches that she keeps refusing. She has no idea she was to marry Viserys and become Queen, which is the reason Doran viewed Quentyn as the heir to Sunspear instead of her.

      It is still too soon to say if Arianne is cut or simply delayed a season.

      *Did anyone else find it odd how quickly they shut down the Stoneheart question? Definitely not UnCat, but there still may be a chance with UnTalisa.

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    26. I really don’t get how they can cut Aegon. If he is cut, what of Varys? What of Illyrio? We saw them conspiring in Season 1. What is their endgame if not Aegon?

      I can see the Sand Snakes and Ellaria taking Arianne’s role in the crowning plot. Ellaria is an already established and liked character, she will definitely play a larger role than in the books.

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    27. It might simply be too much to have SO many new characters in Dorne, something had to give….and I can see Arrianne being distilled into the sand snakes….would work the same.

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    28. I feel fairly confident predicting that Obara will be the Sand Snake driving most of the plot, while the other two will mostly be pretty faces with weapons. Right now it’s Oscar Nominee + two unknowns, so Obara’s portrayal could very well be more similar to Arianne than we think. Plus, I totally get the show wanting to emphasize Oberyn’s closest relatives as the Dornish POV characters, just to keep Pascal’s specter around.

      So that’s my guess: Castle-Hughes, Siddig, and Indira Varma will get most of the red meat in a 60-minute plot over 10 episodes, and the rest will be ornamentation. I’m just stoked we’re getting this much Dorne at all. These changes make a lot of sense to me.

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    29. fuelpagan: That’s not in the books either. Arianne thinks Doran is grooming Quentyn as his heir and she is pissed. She is kept on the sidelines and proposed these ridiculous marriage matches that she keeps refusing. She has no idea she was to marry Viserys and become Queen, which is the reason Doran viewed Quentyn as the heir to Sunspear instead of her.
      .

      Yes, it is in the book? Maybe it’s just a difference of wording here. Arianne is the heir to Sunspear in the books and has been raised knowing it. She does have some fear about being displaced by Quentyn, yes, but she is the eldest and the heir. She’s paranoid because people can be disinherited/set aside as heirs and of course she doesn’t know about Doran’s plan concerning Viserys.

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    30. Markos,

      That is my question too. In show-verse, I suppose they would just have Varys and Illyrio supporting Dany. They did intend for “Aegon” to marry her after they found out that the dragon eggs hatched and that Drogo died. But I don’t get the sense that that was ever their original plan. But then again, what was their plan with sheltering Viserys and Dany for a time? Was it just to put them in harm’s way(doubtful) or did they hope that Viserys and a Dothraki army would throw Westeros into chaos(that is Littlefinger’s game, not Varys’)? I hope George one day reveals what exactly their plan was with Viserys and Dany, now that we know “Aegon” was their goal all along.

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    31. Sansa’s staircase moment was everything.

      That’s my contribution to your post, Axey.

      But really, here’s hoping for some material for Indira this season

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    32. BeautyBrienne,

      Well, if they are casting Maggy the Frog, as was leaked, doesn’t her prophecy say all of Cersei’s 3 children will die before the valonqar gets her? So it would make sense to kill Myrcella off this season, Tommen next and last season Cersei gets it.

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    33. Steve: Also, an aside, and I don’t know if anyone’s suggested this before, but a while back I was thinking about Ellaria and what she’ll be up to. It occurred to me that maybe D&D intend to have her fill in for Taena in the books.

      I was assuming this at the start of season 4, and that maybe Ellaria would eventually also take the seat on the Small Council instead of Nymeria, but Cersei’s evident disdain for bastards, when she met Ellaria at Joffrey’s wedding, scuttled that idea.

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    34. The_Rabbit01,

      The reason we haven’t heard anything about Connington or Young Griff is the same reason we had nothing on Ramsay Snow in season 3. You guys are the best at sniffing this stuff out. But each time you do, the other side has a chance to learn from it. Nina Gold probably has these 2 castings very tight to avoid leaks. I wouldn’ t be surprised if the characters are simply named Guy and Boy in the scripts. Or they could make up fake names we would recognize and the actor isn’t told the truth until they sign the contract for the part.

      Varys backing a fake Aegon over Dany is very revealing. With Oberyn catching on to the fact Varys is from Lys and Varys is trying to keep the accent hidden, lets me know D&D are not messing with the Game Varys is playing. I’m 100% confident Connington and Aegon are in, but I would be very surprised if we learned anything official. The best we can hope for is an odd photograph, like we got with Iwan in Season 3.

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    35. Andrew:
      I feel fairly confident predicting that Obara will be the Sand Snake driving most of the plot, while the other two will mostly be pretty faces with weapons.Right now it’s Oscar Nominee + two unknowns, so Obara’s portrayal could very well be more similar to Arianne than we think.Plus, I totally get the show wanting to emphasize Oberyn’s closest relatives as the Dornish POV characters, just to keep Pascal’s specter around.

      Agree with this. The love for Pedro = viewer connection with Oberyn’s daughters and their desire for vengeance. As others have suggested, Doran could legitimize Obara if Trystane gets roasted.

      I think that S6 is too late to introduce the Greyjoys, assuming that we will be into TWOW material by then. What happens in S5 then? Yara arrives back on Pyke to find Balon dead and that’s it?

      Hopefully, the Griffs have been quietly cast as fuelpagan suggests.

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    36. Jared,

      Second, it’s widely speculated that Aegon isn’t legitimate – that he’s actually a Blackfyre puppet of Varys and Illyrio. That reveal is fine on the page, but for the show, you’re asking the audience to make a major leap of faith by telling them this brand-new character is the long-lost Targaryen prince and then, a few episodes later, revealing that oh wait, he actually isn’t – he’s just a pretender. That’s pulling the rug out pretty fast. In my experience, TV viewers are willing to tolerate a surprising amount of spontaneous plot revelations, but they do not appreciate being jerked around. Obviously removing Aegon would significantly alter Varys’ endgame as well, but that’s a conversation for another day.

      While I appreciate your thoughts and speculation that if Aegon simply dies early on that it might be worth cutting him, I have to disagree heartily with the idea that TV viewers of Game of Thrones aren’t fans of ‘too many spontaneous plot revelations.’ I agree they slowed some of the pacing down to spread out the revelations (Ygritte dying a season later than Robb instead of a few chapters later); but there’s been no evidence that they don’t appreciate the fast-pace changes and schemes within schemes on the show. For example? They treated it like this huge revelation that Sansa/Loras would be engaged. Two episodes later she’s married to Tyrion. That roundabout did not feel like it jerked anyone around, it felt like it established the fact that Sansa was a hot commodity to these people, and it established the first crack in the Tyrell/Lannister alliance AND it created “the moment” as the article says here of hyping the surpise twist of the Tyrion/Sansa marriage. Did us book readers fall for any of it? No. But I don’t think anyone was complaining that there were moments happening that two seconds later are getting undermined? The fast-pace twists of Game of Thrones is what they LIKE.

      I think this is getting to a very critical issue D&D have been perpetrating: the difference between plot lines that seem to go nowhere because their lead character proponent died — and plot lines that actually went nowhere. And here’s the thing?

      Aegon landing in Westeros is important, whether or not he dies in his next chapter in TWW. It’s important because it rekindles the War that had been dying off (just as Varys kicks up his timeline with the end of ADWD; I’m avoiding mentioning the specific action he takes). It’s important because just when the Westerosi are resigning themselves to Lannister rule (and are unaware of how unstable that actually IS), when the country is literally in shambles, the idea that a Targaryen lands is the first thing that will prime the populace to WANT Dany and her dragons to come over to Westeros, to begin CHEERING for Targaryens again.

      And even if that isn’t the case? GRRM is a huge, huge fan of undermining fantasy tropes. In fact he does it at every opportunity he can. (Ned’s execution rather than his being the reluctant King Regent; Robb and Catelyn being killed by their bannermen instead of the triumphant son avenging his father; Drogo’s death instead of leading the Khalasar across the sea; Viserys being the exiled king and yet a little pompous shit) And what is one of the biggest tropes if not “the long lost prince” for fantasy?

      I don’t know about you :), but for me, the reveal wasn’t when Tyrion went ‘You’re Aegon Targaryen.’ The reveal was when I started realizing “Wait, no, that…doesn’t actually fit.” It is oodles and bounds and leaps more interesting that Varys and Illyrio would be setting this fake!Aegon up (though I believe the poor boy does believe he’s Aegon) because they want to tell a story to the people and have their ideal candidate be placed on the throne. It’s fascinating if that’s the case. Aegon actually being the long lost prince? Snooze. We’ve all seen that before. (The most famous probably being Aragorn, son of Arathorn.) It’s not to say I have a problem with that trope. But I think it’s much more interesting what Aegon’s existence says about Varys, a character who has actually been established as one of the most mysterious and yet accomplished game of thrones players, since book/season 1.

      None of this, however, is the real problem I have with their casting decision. Aegon being cut or not should not be a factor. Arianne Martell is not defined as a character in these novels by her “maybe eventual marriage” to Aegon in a future book we can’t really speculate. For that matter she’s not defined by her former betrothal contract to Viserys. Nor is she defined by her ‘Crown Myrcella’ plot. Let’s be clear, I am all for Myrcella being an active participant of it. I am not in favor of it being Trystane’s idea, whether for it being “because of love for his betrothed” or because of greed and wanting to be king, or anything else. Even if Myrcella takes the place of Arianne in wanting to be crowned though, they’re still white-washing the decision since Myrcella is white and Arianne POC. Giving it to Trystane!? It’s baffling how blatant that sexism is.

      Arianne’s value as a character is not only her doomed crowning of myrcella and maybe marriage. Arianne’s plot is one thing; that I could agree needs tightening up. But her value as a character is that she is a female POC who is heiress in a kingdom and she’s one of very few across the entire Western fantasy spectrum that can be said for. Her existence speaks to the very heart of the themes of the Song of Ice and Fire series — 1, when the high lords play their games it is always the innocent who suffer (Water Gardens? Her learning the lesson when Myrcella is hurt?); 2, that Dorne being one of the most progressive kingdoms has enjoyed unparalleled successes where other houses and kingdoms have fallen into ruin (Mariya Martell told Rhaenyra Targaryen to GTFO basically!). It MATTERS that Dorne lets their females inherit, and not the least bit because of the Dance of Dragons civil wars and themes that are clearly about to be repeated as history always does [and probably, with fake!Aegon, because if the prequels are relevant to the series, than Varys is a Blackfyre and what the realm doesn't know is that they're still fighting the wars from 100 years ago!]

      Arianne Martell’s being cut as heiress is blatantly erasing a strong female POC role model in favor of a white princess and a prince who in the books is 12. There’s nothing else too it.

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    37. fuelpagan:
      The_Rabbit01,

      The reason we haven’t heard anything about Connington or Young Griff is the same reason we had nothing on Ramsay Snow in season 3. You guys are the best at sniffing this stuff out. But each time you do, the other side has a chance to learn from it. Nina Gold probably has these 2 castings very tight to avoid leaks. I wouldn’ t be surprised if the characters are simply named Guy and Boy in the scripts. Or they could make up fake names we would recognize and the actor isn’t told the truth until they sign the contract for the part.

      Varys backing a fake Aegon over Dany is very revealing. With Oberyn catching on to the fact Varys is from Lys and Varys is trying to keep the accent hidden, lets me know D&D are not messing with the Game Varys is playing. I’m 100% confident Connington and Aegon are in, but I would be very surprised if we learned anything official. The best we can hope for is an odd photograph, like we got with Iwan in Season 3.

      You could be right, but to remind you we knew Iwan Rheon was cast, and 99% of us were sure who he was going to play from the day 1.

      Another thing: I still believe that primary GRRM intention was that Varys & Illyrio game was to support Dany – he just added the Aegon plot later on, while he was writing Clash. I do not think he planned it from the start.

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    38. Arianne was my favorite new character from AFFC and ADWD alongside Doran. Only Manderly came close. I’ve seen this coming for a long time so I can’t say I’m pissed or sad or anything. What I can say is that the show will lose the best thing about Dorne when they cut Arianne.

      Arianne’s arc in the books is completely unique in this story. She is a woman who is the rightful heir of the Dornish kingdom, the only rightful female heir by default in the story so far. Her arc deals with that directly, since it’s all about that struggle with her father (and society in general) to hold on to what is rightfully hers.

      When she sees her father telling Quentyn he’ll be the heir to Dorne, she completely loses it. She doesn’t crown Myrcella because she thinks she’s the rightful queen or because she wants to get vengeance for Oberyn- she does it to take a stand against her father and against his denial of what is rightfully hers. By crowning Myrcella, she takes a stand for female equality and I think she does it so her father will see.

      Obviously, her relief when she hears the truth from her father is huge and she begins trusting him and becoming his daughter again. She undergoes a massive change.

      Meanwhile, the Sand Snakes are a bunch of cookie-cutter badass sexy women and Trystane is nothing at all. To remove Arianne and keep ALL three Sand Snakes (when one could easily have been delayed to season 6 in favor of casting Arianne) is simply stupid. Arianne is the center of the Dornish storyline and it becomes a huge mess without her. You have no “main character” to follow, no center of attention and you get four shallow “hur dur let’s avenge daddy” characters instead of one complex one.

      I don’t think there’s any good reason to cut her from the story when Dorne is included. In terms of casting, Arianne is at this point far far more important than all the Sand Snakes combined. Surely, they could have delayed one Sand Snake to make room for her (or just combined a Sand Snake into her- which is far smarter than destroying a main character and deciding her up between minor ones).

      If the reason they did this is to give Ellaria a bigger role- that’s even more stupid. The great thing about Ellaria’s character is how pro-peace she is even after Oberyn’s death. She has a great speech about vengeance in the books too: so you want to cut Arianne AND destroy Ellaria’s character (because we don’t have enough vengeful badass ladies already with three Sand Snakes??).

      Then there is the whole: “everyone lives Oberyn, let’s make his daughters the focus instead of Arianne” excuse. Well, that sucks. Sorry, but it’s not worth it. It’s a lame, lame decision.

      I just hope the show’s version if Dorne will be good within its own right.

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    39. jentario:

      [...]

      I just hope the show’s version if Dorne will be good within its own right.

      I have faith that it will be but I’m with you that I don’t understand why this decision was made.

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    40. Sue the Fury,

      Definitely a wording issue.

      I always read into her frustration at Doran to imply Arianne felt she wasn’t being trained properly to becoming the heir of Sunspear. She had the title yes, but she wasn’t really being schooled in the way she felt she deserved as heir compared to the attention Quentyn received.

      Her frustration with Doran’s inaction is a big part of why she participates in the Queen Maker plot. IIRC Doran, in a round about way, admits this was a mistake on his part.

      I realize the idea of Arianne being the first born is important to you, I’m just not sure how important it is to the story.

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    41. jentario,

      Well said. This is probably the first major change that I am unhappy with. Arianne’s role in Westeros was unique. Of course, changing Obara or Ellaria’s arcs to incorporate Arianne’s deeds can be done but, for me, it becomes a lesser story.

      And it affects other story lines. The elimination of Arianne and Quentyn also removes much of Doran’s agenda and his long game. Like everything else about Dorne, he is interesting because he is different from the other players, including Oberyn. I fear that we will instead get a sickly, world-weary man who lets everyone else determine the course of events.

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    42. But, here’s what is baffling me about this: can all of you explain why it makes more sense to eliminate Arianne and cast 3 Sand Snakes when they could have just made Arianne ONE of the Sand Snakes? Hear me out…in the books, Arianne thinks during her captivity that she wishes that she was more like her cousins and admires them. Couldn’t D&D have made the 3 new characters Arianne, Obara and Nym (or one of the others like Sarella), slightly altering Arianne’s backstory to have her grow up very close to her cousins and uncle and learning to fight? That underscores Dorne’s more open minded culture; keeps the primogeniture; makes it possible to just outright eliminate the Quentyn debacle; creates opportunities for great father-daughter long game plotting exposition scenes between Arianne and Doran (perhaps even allowing for the elimination of Areo Hotah as an actual character) and providing a lovely foil to the Tywin/Cersei relationship; and allows Ellaria to take over for Oberyn in KL. Either the future book plot is going to take some major twists leaving Arianne out in the cold and/or dead, or D&D&BCog are indeed holding her back for S6.

      Edit: Dang, Jentario! You said it better!

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    43. Axechucker:
      mariamb,

      I suspect season 6 will be ALL about the Greyjoys. All you would really get this season would be the Kingsmoot. No real action. I would say the show might casually mention ‘em this season, save ‘em for 6, and then hit us full force in the face. KRAKENS EVERYWHERE.

      I mean, think about it. Every season has featured a New Bad. (Or Opposition rather.)

      Last season was the Thenns.

      This season will be the scheming Dornish.

      I suspect the Greyjoys will be that for season 6.

      Mmm that makes sense. I’m buying this theory :P

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    44. The_Rabbit01,

      IIRC wasn’t it a photograph at a bar that prompted Fury to look into Iwan’s schedule. We never received an official casting announcement. I imagine Griff and Young Griff will be the same. Shooting starts on Monday.

      I think Aegon was always a part of the story. GRRM had to set up the Red Herring before he could have Varys hide behind it. He said the story line for the major characters was decided before the first book. Varys being a major game player would have been locked. Some of the secondary and tertiary characters fates are open to change, Varys isn’t one of them.

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    45. I’m definitely not a fan of cutting Arianne, because as has been eloquently stated above, having a woman be heir to a realm even though she has brothers is kind of important. It’s a loss.

      However, let me picture some possible lines from the season to come, when explaining to Myrcella why she should be on the Iron Throne.

      “If Trystane had had an older sister, she would be the heir, not him.”

      Or perhaps even: “I was not always the heir to Dorne. My older sister was, until she died of a fever.”

      Also, Trystane may be the heir, but he could have a younger sister (not shown on-screen this season) who becomes heir if/when he dies, and could perhaps be sent to ally with fAegon if he appears.

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    46. fuelpagan:
      The_Rabbit01,

      The reason we haven’t heard anything about Connington or Young Griff is the same reason we had nothing on Ramsay Snow in season 3. You guys are the best at sniffing this stuff out. But each time you do, the other side has a chance to learn from it. Nina Gold probably has these 2 castings very tight to avoid leaks. I wouldn’ t be surprised if the characters are simply named Guy and Boy in the scripts. Or they could make up fake names we would recognize and the actor isn’t told the truth until they sign the contract for the part.

      Varys backing a fake Aegon over Dany is very revealing. With Oberyn catching on to the fact Varys is from Lys and Varys is trying to keep the accent hidden, lets me know D&D are not messing with the Game Varys is playing. I’m 100% confident Connington and Aegon are in, but I would be very surprised if we learned anything official. The best we can hope for is an odd photograph, like we got with Iwan in Season 3.

      What’s the need to keep the identity of Jon Con a secret in the context of the show? He hasn’t been mentioned at all

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    47. Nice to see you on the new website.

      I was really upset with Arianne being cut, not because I’m a fan of hers (she’s my least favorite of the female POVs and I don’t have a definite opinion on her yet, though she is interesting) but because of what it means for the Dornish rules of inheritance, roles of women on the show, etc. I even had a big rant about it (and the way the show has portrayed women, specifically Brienne, who is one of my favorites in the books, this season) which seems to have become quite popular on Tumblr. ;)

      But thinking about it with a cooler head… this is what I think. I don’t think the show is cutting Arianne just to make Myrcella’s crowning more of a surprise – that’s like cutting your own leg so it would be more surprising when you show you can walk. I see only two possible explanations:

      1) Arianne dies very early in TWOW and is completely irrelevant to the story.
      This seems extremely unlikely: I would be surprised if GRRM built up Arianne so much and made her a complex POV character across two books just to kill her off early and have her come to absolutely nothing (even Quentyn has some plot relevance).

      2) Arianne’s story is tied to fAegon, and the show is cutting his entire storyline because they find it too complicated and dependent on a complex historical background, and because they want to have just 7 seasons.

      Option 2) seems much more likely to me.

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    48. Trystane has 0 lines….

      But it makes perfect sense to me as I laid asleep dreaming lol

      Trystane and Areo Hotah over Quentyn and Arianne….

      Trystane is D&D’s character they can do whatever they want with him. Whereas Areo Hotah who everyone expected to get the axe(no pun intended) was actually perfect for D&D, since he has no character traits basically, D&D can create their own character through him, they love doing that.

      So yeah, Quentyn and Arianne had too much character and individual stories to be included in this condensed 7 season show, but also D&D can put their own spin on events after Oberyns death.

      And what I really wanted to post….ok so two mentions of the Golden Company last season. 1 time with Davos saying to Stannis they should hire them, well i dont think that will pan out, but the next mention is the most interesting one, it was said by Dany to Jorah that Jorah used to work for the Golden Company in the shows Canon atleast.

      So it leads me to thinking….Second Sons and Stormcrows were merged and are now Daarios group, so Brown Ben is out(Unfortunately) and Tyrion/Jorah wont be joining them. Could it be possible that its the Golden Company that actually joined Yonkai? Its the only Sellsword company mentioned besides the Second sons lol

      The story can be that Varys and Illyrio moved fast offscreen and tried to get Aegon to Dany immediately so Tyrion doesnt meet up with them in the course of them travelling to Dany, rather he meets up with them as they are at Yunkai’s gates, and they are under guise of being on Yunkai’s side. And Aegon will kind of take Quentyns role as kind of the person that goes to Meereen and asks for Dany’s hand only to be rejected cause shell marry Hizdahr. I dont expect him to take Quentyns role fully with the Dragons being release(I hope not lol) but he will definitely be in Meereen if thats the Sellsword company Yunkai hires.

      It made perfect sense to m while sleeping lol it could be that they are ditching Aegon having his own storyline and taking Storms end for time and just move him towards Meereen so hes with the other characters. I hope this is somewhat true lol….

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    49. mariamb,

      I agree, the Sand Snakes will take over much of Arianne’s story line. Ellaria strikes me as way too level-headed and caring. Obara, the Lady Nym and Tyene, however, are all for f***ing with the Lannisters’ plans, and one way of achieving that would be to crown Myrcella (who they may have by now sufficiently befriended to exclude her from their hatred of the Lannisters and who they think they can control).

      If the show acknowledges equal progeniture at some point other than through Arianne (most effectively maybe through Trystane himself, who may be the heir, but does not think he’s in any way more entitled just because he’s a guy), it could work without her. Of course, having an heiress to Sunspear would drive the point of crowning Myrcella home more decisively, but if they introduce the custom effectively enough, it might still work.

      Having said that, I still want Arianne. There are far more male characters of importance in the books (all those lords and lieges and warriors …) – I’d try everything I could to keep the more active female characters. Alas, I don’t think it’s gonna happen.

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    50. I still maintain that the Quentyn arc (whether it’s filled by Quentyn or perhaps Trystane) is tailor-made for the show. It doesn’t require much screentime (the travelogue can certainly be cut significantly), it’s contained within the season and allows you to close off the character without them hanging around in subsequent ones, it connects Dorne/Westeros to Dany (which is something the show is always trying to do as much as they can), and it ends with a hugely cinematic moment that showcases the dragons.

      It makes too much sense not to include it in some form.

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    51. Has it been officially confirmed by anyone at HBO that Arianne has been cut? Just because they are naming Trystane ‘heir’ doesn’t mean we won’t get an Arianne. Arianne feared Doran placing Quentyn as heir to Sunspear, maybe they are just replacing Quentyn with Trystane. Maybe they are just changing the ages around. Until HBO comes out and says Arianne has been cut, I don’t see why people are reacting so crazily. Plenty of roles, some even very significant, were revealed after the Comic-Con Casting Video.

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    52. TheNed:
      Has it been officially confirmed by anyone at HBO that Arianne has been cut? Just because they are naming Trystane ‘heir’ doesn’t mean we won’t get an Arianne. Arianne feared Doran placing Quentyn as heir to Sunspear, maybe they are just replacing Quentyn with Trystane. Maybe they are just changing the ages around. Until HBO comes out and says Arianne has been cut, I don’t see why people are reacting so crazily. Plenty of roles, some even very significant, were revealed after the Comic-Con Casting Video.

      The casting call for all these characters went out at the same time, most likely because they’d all be filming together. You’ve got basically the entire Dorne contingent represented in that group and there’s no good logistical reason to have Arianne excluded from the list if they planned on having her appear this season.

      While it’s possible some Greyjoys, Northern lords, even Aegon/Jon Connington are still to be revealed because they don’t need them for filming at this point, if Arianne was in, she would have been announced by this point.

      You’re free to hang on to hope if you like but HBO doesn’t ever “confirm” cutting book characters that aren’t going to appear so you’ll be waiting for a long time for that news. You go by the information that’s been released and use your brain to come to the most logical conclusion.

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    53. TheNed,

      I agree that more casting announcements should be coming. Just don’t think that Arianne is one of them.

      I’m still hoping for The Kindly Man. (Not sure how Jaqen will fit in. Has that been confirmed, BTW?) With the Boltons at Winterfell, some of the Northern lords have to be cast. Hopefully, its Manderly.

      If there aren’t any other casting announcements, I’m curious as to how S5 unfolds without the Griffs, Greyjoys and Manderly.

      This may be premature but has there been any confirmation about Roger Allam and if he will be returning as Illyrio? IMDB has him listed for episode 5.1 but that isn’t necessarily a good source.

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    54. Not trying to sound like a broken record about this (already had a friendly debate on another thread about the issue) but I believe the exclusion of Arianne has more to do with Aegon than anything about the Arianne character herself. D&D know the ending. They know how things will play out. If Aegon is cut then they probably worked backwards and eliminated or changed everything tied to his plot. Unfortunately Arianne is a casualty of adaptation. But hopefully they can fold most of her strengths into the Sand Snakes and Ellaria.

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    55. I agree. I think it’s pretty clear they are going to beef up Myrcella’s part in the conspiracy (why re cast her if not?) and honestly, as long as Quentayne is barbecued.. i’ll probably be show watcher satisfied (while book watcher ragey. like two face.)

      They don’t NEED another female character in order for Myrcella to be crowned… Sigh. Siiiiigh.

      We get 3 whole Sand Snakes tho! and there’s at least another out there bc of Oberyn’s letter writing. That’s 4 sand snakes! That far more than I thought we’d get. I’m sure they will all be tasked with upping D&Ds T and A quota. (more sighs).

      (the utter lack of Greyjoy casting announcements still has me worried. and I guess Tyrion will just be immediately captured by slavers and shipped to Mereen? What is he going to DO for S5?)

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    56. BREAKING NEWS: James Poniewozik ‏@poniewozik just twitted this: People should keep in mind, tho, the GoT casting announcement was not THE announcement of EVERYONE for season 5.

        Quote  Reply

    57. I think the more pragmatic and obvious reason she’s been cut is that they had to cut major storylines and major characters from the last three books and essentially start writing their own story (?) to do what they want to do: which is to wrap the story up in a 7-season arc that they hope seems progressively better every season right up to a spectacular last season, in re Breaking Bad. The comment about them thinking Season 5 should be the best season yet was telling: they don’t want a winding-down season or a set-up season or a ‘let’s pause and take a breath before shit gets crazy again’ season. Since books 4 and 5 felt very much like the slow beginning to ‘Phase 2′ that’s going to mean lots of hacking, slashing, reconfiguring, rewriting and bulldozing over unpublished storylines (I don’t see any stalling happening for George’s sake–none).

      Next season is going to be a test for us to see if we can REALLY differentiate between the books and the TV show and see them as two truly separate entities and separate works of art. That is the healthy outlook to take for those of us who continue to watch the show.

      I will miss Arianne anyway, and Victarion and Euron if they are also gone, because I think they would have made good drama – but I don’t know their endgames and I don’t run a multimillion dollar TV show 365 days a year.

      If Arianne is gone I agree with the theory that the Jon Connington and FAegon are possibly gone as well. I’m not actually sure that I’ll miss the Griffs (or Quentyn for that matter), and if you want to condense the story to 7 seasons, excising that whole storyline is probably a smart move to make. Varys could be scheming for a Daenerys/Trystane alliance on the throne. Perhaps Trystane will replace Quentyn, but he’ll borrow Jaime’s jetpack, disappear for a few episode and pop up in Meereen (another long-ass journey? not happening, IMO). Storm’s End has barely even been mentioned on the show, and they haven’t been playing up it’s history or significance.

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    58. I just don’t understand this omission at all. Arianne is probably the most interesting character from that region not named Oberyn. To go Dorne heavy next season without her is baffling.

      And no I don’t want to see her character merged into another or have her story given to another Dornish character. Either give us Arianne or don’t.

      Yesterday’s news was bittersweet, on the one hand the Pryce and Siddig castings are a stroke of genius, on the other the exclusion of Arianne and the Greyjoys have dwindled my excitement for the future of the show.

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    59. Abi,

      Thank you for your thoughts! You’ve given me a lot to consider.

      While I appreciate your thoughts and speculation that if Aegon simply dies early on that it might be worth cutting him, I have to disagree heartily with the idea that TV viewers of Game of Thrones aren’t fans of ‘too many spontaneous plot revelations.’ I agree they slowed some of the pacing down to spread out the revelations (Ygritte dying a season later than Robb instead of a few chapters later); but there’s been no evidence that they don’t appreciate the fast-pace changes and schemes within schemes on the show. For example? They treated it like this huge revelation that Sansa/Loras would be engaged. Two episodes later she’s married to Tyrion. That roundabout did not feel like it jerked anyone around, it felt like it established the fact that Sansa was a hot commodity to these people, and it established the first crack in the Tyrell/Lannister alliance AND it created “the moment” as the article says here of hyping the surpise twist of the Tyrion/Sansa marriage.Did us book readers fall for any of it? No. But I don’t think anyone was complaining that there were moments happening that two seconds later are getting undermined? The fast-pace twists of Game of Thrones is what they LIKE.

      I agree that a significant majority of Game of Thrones fans are extremely sophisticated, and the rapid-fire plot twists are a large part of the show’s widespread appeal. Having said that, I’m concerned about the Aegon plotline primarily because it’s dangerous to keep too much information from the audience when the characters themselves are in the know. Sansa’s potential betrothal to Loras leading into her surprise betrothal to Tyrion was a naturally evolving situation wherein the Tyrells made a move, and the Lannisters countered. Aegon’s purported survival is another matter. Unlike Lysa and Littlefinger poisoning Jon Arryn, there have been no clues left in the show to date that Aegon might have survived Gregor Clegane’s murderous rampage other than the Golden Company being name-checked once or twice. In fact, viewers were specifically told otherwise last year. In general, most modern TV viewers like twists that are shocking in the moment, but are easy to see in retrospect because the appropriate foreshadowing was laid (Littlefinger and Lysa, the Red Wedding, Ned’s execution, etc.) They’re less tolerant of twists that appear to come out of nowhere even after you examine the lead-up to the moment. When you tell an audience member something about a character, and then later reveal that the thing that they were told earlier wasn’t actually true, then you need to justify why it was necessary to keep that information from them for reasons beyond simple shock value.

      Introducing a major new player in the fifth season of a seven season show and then suggesting that he could be the one who ends up on the Iron Throne at the end rather than any of the characters we’ve been following since the beginning isn’t an unfair trick for the show to pull. But until the true nature of this plot is revealed, it will certainly inspire people to ask “Well, why weren’t we following him from the beginning, then? Why did we waste all that time with Daenerys if she isn’t even going to do anything?” Sophisticated though they may be, that implication is going to irritate people and with good reason … unless it’s made clear that Aegon does have very close ties to a character that we have known from the beginning of the story. More on this below.

      I don’t know about you :), but for me, the reveal wasn’t when Tyrion went ‘You’re Aegon Targaryen.’ The reveal was when I started realizing “Wait, no, that…doesn’t actually fit.” It is oodles and bounds and leaps more interesting that Varys and Illyrio would be setting this fake!Aegon up (though I believe the poor boy does believe he’s Aegon) because they want to tell a story to the people and have their ideal candidate be placed on the throne. It’s fascinating if that’s the case. Aegon actually being the long lost prince? Snooze. We’ve all seen that before. (The most famous probably being Aragorn, son of Arathorn.) It’s not to say I have a problem with that trope. But I think it’s much more interesting what Aegon’s existence says about Varys, a character who has actually been established as one of the most mysterious and yet accomplished game of thrones players, since book/season 1.

      I totally agree with all of this. When Aegon was first revealed in ADWD, I rolled my eyes. I was not a fan of Martin taking a character that we had repeatedly been told was dead and not only revealing that he was still alive but that he was set up to be a major new contender for the throne. But Varys’ speech about Aegon in the epilogue – wherein he explained that ruling was a duty, not a right, and that Aegon was the perfect candidate to rule because of how he had been raised and taught – saved the entire plotline for me. It made perfect sense. I had absolutely no interest in Aegon as yet another lost Targaryen prince attempting to claim his rightful throne. But Aegon as the unwitting, possibly illegitimate puppet and secret endgame of one of the most enigmatic characters in the series is fascinating.

      If Aegon does wind up being cast on the show, I almost hope that they make the Varys/Illyrio plot clear to viewers from very early on (which they could do – Varys will be traveling with Tyrion for at least part of his journey). I think that Aegon will resonate more as a character if viewers know just how far and how deep Varys’ influence extends. It would be a moment on par with this past season’s reveal that Littlefinger was the secret architect of the War of the Five Kings. Given how much the series has played up the Littlefinger vs Varys conflict, seeing Varys’s countermove would be extremely satisfying.

      None of this, however, is the real problem I have with their casting decision. Aegon being cut or not should not be a factor. Arianne Martell is not defined as a character in these novels by her “maybe eventual marriage” to Aegon in a future book we can’t really speculate. For that matter she’s not defined by her former betrothal contract to Viserys. Nor is she defined by her ‘Crown Myrcella’ plot. Let’s be clear, I am all for Myrcella being an active participant of it. I am not in favor of it being Trystane’s idea, whether for it being “because of love for his betrothed” or because of greed and wanting to be king, or anything else. Even if Myrcella takes the place of Arianne in wanting to be crowned though, they’re still white-washing the decision since Myrcella is white and Arianne POC. Giving it to Trystane!? It’s baffling how blatant that sexism is.

      I heartily agree that Arianne is not defined as a character by her potential relationship with Aegon. Nor should she be! She is her own woman, and a strong, interesting one at that. I would have been happy to see her cast even if the writers had decided to dissociate her storyline from Aegon’s entirely. But unfortunately the show can’t afford to cast Arianne if it doesn’t have a plotline for her, and shifting the emphasis of the Queenmaker plot to Ellaria and the Sand Snakes makes sense because those characters have a more direct motivation to avenge Oberyn than Arianne. I think that it will be Ellaria and Obara who take the lead on that conspiracy, not Trystane. The leaked audition videos seem to hint at this. Trystane was cast because his betrothal to Myrcella had been established in the show back in Season 2. Because he’s such a minor character in the books, he’s effectively a blank slate – always a luxury for the writers when it comes to adaptations. He can fill any number of roles because there’s no concern of what it would do to his future plotlines, but there’s no reason to believe that he’s suddenly going to become a fascinating character.
      Trust me, I’m not in favor of the decision to cut Arianne. I would have rather have had her than the Sand Snakes. But I think that the Dorne storyline will still be an interesting one. And I certainly don’t ascribe any sexist or racist motivations, conscious or not, to Benioff and Weiss for their decision to cut Arianne from the show. I think that they’re fundamentally good people, and that making inferences about their character and their thought process based on this issue is more than a little unfair. I’m sure it was a hard decision for them to cut Arianne, and I certainly don’t think that it’s out of bounds to question their wisdom on this issue. But I certainly don’t believe that Benioff and Weiss cut her specifically because they didn’t want to deal with her status as an empowered female heir.

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    60. The_Rabbit01:
      BREAKING NEWS: James Poniewozik ‏@poniewozikjust twitted this: People should keep in mind, tho, the GoT casting announcement was not THE announcement of EVERYONE for season 5.

      Definitely not. On the leaked cast list, we also saw Lollys, Maggy the Frog, Septa Unella and the Waif. The second leaked casting list I received had the two young girls, and Varamyr Sixskins. So there will be more castings. There may not be official announcements but there are more characters out there.
      But I have severe doubts Arianne is one of them.

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    61. The_Rabbit01:
      BREAKING NEWS: James Poniewozik ‏@poniewozikjust twitted this: People should keep in mind, tho, the GoT casting announcement was not THE announcement of EVERYONE for season 5.

      Who’s he?

        Quote  Reply

    62. Great post Axey! The streamlining of the story makes a lot of sense because obviously they can’t fit everything in there and they definitely don’t want to take too much screen time from the other characters. However it is sad knowing Arianne will most likely not be a part of the show.

      I’ve been pretty good at viewing the show and the books as separate entities but this change is on a whole new level. It’s hard not think about what implications this could have in regards to the books and if they made this change based on what they know is going to happen.

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    63. Meh, to me the only cut i regret is Manderly if he is indeed cut or maybe he will just be cast later, he was the only one new character i cared from the latest two filler books, the other ones can just die in a fire and i couldn’t care less, in fact one of them did get roasted by a dragon,hahahaha .

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    64. Now so long (m)Arianne it’s time book nerds began
      To laugh and cry and cry and laugh about casting again

      I’m in the laughing camp.

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    65. Now on to Axey stuff: I like your theories. Cersei’s prophecy, which it seems we’ll get next year, says that she’ll watch all her children die (though the language is cryptic enough that I suspect one of her children will find a loophole) so perhaps Myrcella dying is just bringing forward the inevitable. I don’t think Trystane necessarily needs to take Quentyn’s place, since D&D just need to conjure a plot device to free the dragons and another plot device to sour things (?) between Dany and Prince Doran…but it’s also very possible that he will.

      I agree that D&D strike me as very feminist writers and I find the idea that they’re changing storylines for misogynist reasons ridiculous.

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    66. TaviColen123,

      The fact that they cast a real actor to play ‘Wyman Manderley’ for the Red Wedding episode, even though he was a glorified extra who stood in the background (wearing a prominent eel sigil, though) suggests they are including some version of that storyline and wanted to let us know–so rest easy?

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    67. Sue the Fury,

      How much of a stretch is it to expect a couple of semi-major characters not on the leaked list to be cast? Do you think Manderly and Jeyne Poole are cut, for instance?

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    68. Turncloak,

      A simple internet search would lead directly to the reveal of Aegon. It is best to keep Aegon and anyone associated with this character a secret.

      Wasn’t there a deleted scene in season 1 between Sansa and Arya talking about a banner with a rooster on it?

      Anyway, revealing the casting for Connington would reveal the character of Aegon isn’t cut. For D&D it is best we think they are cut so we stop looking for them.

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    69. King Tommen,

      mariamb,

      I personally don’t think Arianne is going to be in the show at this point. I just don’t understand why there is such uproar over these things. Is it likely at this point she is in? No, but its possible. I think a lot of the ASOIAF community get up in arms over too many things and jump to conclusions to early. Plus, I much rather see some Manderlys than Arianne. Dorne can still be plenty of fun without Arianne, but the North needs some Manderly action.

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    70. Great post!
      Speculation haunts me but is just so fun! XD

      I always thought at least 3 Sand Snakes would make the show. They figure into too many arcs and make for dynamic TV with a direct motive to avenge Oberyn’s death.

      I think the biggest reason for D&D cutting Arianne (yes I think she is cut not delayed) is having only 30 episodes to tell the material of 4 large books. It’s just a question of time…. It’s nothing against the character.

      Remove Arianne and have the Sand Snakes take over some of her role makes sense as a time-saver. Then have Ellaria and Trystane take over other aspects of Arianne and her role is covered for the most part.

      Trystane becomes a bigger player and is aged up to a prince in his late teens. This age (just about Aegon’s age….) puts him in play for marriage alliances with Dany if D&D want. He takes over the role of Quentyn (without being dragon charred) and covers that marriage alliance aspect of Aegon as well.

      Removing Arianne also allows them to cut Young Griff and company out as well – Another large time saving cut! Even if Aegon is important to the books (debatable at best) that does not mean the TV series needs him. They are two different entities. Removing Aegon would allow D&D to remove the entire sub-plot of some houses supporting Aegon. No second army invading Westeros within minutes of meeting this new character while Dany sits in Meereen for another season or two. It streamlines a great deal and does not detract from Dany.

      Varys and Illyrio can be Dany supporters from the beginning since the show has never shown them to be anything other than that, or for that matter introduced the Great Bastards or any of the complex history needed for many of the possibly cut sub-plots to make sense. The 3-Eyed Crow does not need to be a Rivers or even involved in the Blackfyre Rebellion. All of that history and the exposition it would require can be cut. Another huge time saver.

      All of those cuts (along with the Greyjoys) would allow D&D to get through all the material of AFFC and ADWD by season’s end. That is imperative since they need the final 2 seasons to cover the material from the final two books. The cuts would allow them to have more time to concentrate on fewer characters making a much more linear story that is more TV friendly.

      I’m not necessarily a proponent of all the cuts, but I can see how it would work in the end I guess…

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    71. jentario:
      Sue the Fury,

      How much of a stretch is it to expect a couple of semi-major characters not on the leaked list to be cast? Do you think Manderly and Jeyne Poole are cut, for instance?

      Jeyne Poole is not on the show, that’s a dead subject.

      But in terms of characters in other story arcs still to be announced, that’s certainly a good bet. It has happened in every other season so I don’t see why S5 would be any different. The casting is typically timed with the filming schedule so there could be a delay before we hear about other arcs having their casting done. I remember us not hearing about Mance until late August when S3 was filming as one example of this.

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    72. King Tommen,

      When I said Jeyne Poole I meant

      fake Arya in any form.

      I just wanted to avoid spoiler tags.

      Don’t see why they’d cut that character, or why it’s obvious that she’s cut. Theon’s story can’t work in season 5

      without a helpless little girl, if he just saves his own life it would ruin the arc.

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    73. jentario:
      Cumsprite,

      You don’t even watch the show, cum

      Keeping up with show developments is like getting the CliffsNotes version of the books and I don’t want to fall behind. Besides, the show is too violent for my tastes.

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    74. jentario,

      He doesn’t know anything intimate about the process but like all of us, he is aware that going by previous seasons, this is not a complete list. As Sue mentioned, even the leaked casting call had characters on it that have not had their actors announced. It’s just a reminder to everyone that this video is not in any way a complete list (just like the S3 Comic-Con video wasn’t either).

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    75. jentario,

      Because he is TV journalist and so far (from the day 1) knows things or two other mortals do not.
      So, far HBO had a nice tradition to give some casting news to TV journalist to announce them.

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    76. King Tommen,

      Oh I definitely agree that she is most likely cut or combined with another character. I just don’t get why a lot of the ASOIAF community is in an uproar or jumping to dramatic conclusions based on the casting video. There is still additional casting to be made. Honestly, I’d be more sad if they cut the Manderlys than Arianne. The one thing I do cling to hope for is a Tower of Joy scene. Unlikely seeing how little they do flashbacks, but with the Cersei scene maybe we will start to see a few more…

      Any who, cheers to the new site.

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    77. As a refresher, S3 casting video featured announcements for QoT, Beric, Thoros, Orell, the Blackfish, Missandei, Shireen, Jojen and Meera,

      It did not include Anguy, Mance, Tormund, Edmure, Lothar/Black Walder Frey, Karl, Ramsay, Grey Worm, Myranda, Daario, Mero, Kraznys, Locke etc.

      So yeah, there’s still more to come clearly…

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    78. jentario,

      Well, there’s egg and bacon; egg sausage and bacon; egg and spam; egg bacon and spam; egg bacon sausage and spam; spam bacon sausage and spam; spam egg spam spam bacon and spam; spam sausage spam spam bacon spam tomato and spam..

      Spam…. Spam….. Spam…. Spam…. Spam….
      Lovely Spam!

        Quote  Reply

    79. Darquemode,

      There’s a difference between cutting complexity to streamline the story and gutting a story to the point of being pointless. GRRM has plenty of twists and turns lined up and D&D know them.

      Arianne not being cast this season has little to do with whether or not Aegon is cut. The need for a marriage would be season 6. Cast her in season 6 for that purpose. A simple reference to her next season is all you need, just like Oberyn talking about his 8 daughters.

      Why would a show and story that is known for being unpredictable, have a story line that is as predictable as Dany comes to westeros and claims the throne. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Streamlining a story into something that predictable would be a major fail.

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    80. Morgan,

      The man can let himself go to every con in existence all around the globe and can’t spare a couple of weeks to write an episode? I call bullshit

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    81. While GRRM not writing an episode would be big disappointment in the first couple years of the show, things have evolved to the point where his episodes lately, while still being good, no longer distinguish themselves as being a cut above the others during the season. So it’s not nearly the big deal it would have been in the past.

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    82. I know that plenty of people will be disappointed in the absence of Arianne because of the fact she is a strong female character – and more than that one that is destined to ascend to power and rule by her own right. There is also an interesting comparison you can make between her and Cersei, the main female character of book four.

      However, can a character be included purely because of those reasons? I don’t think they can. If her role in this story, which we as yet know little about, can be carried out by other characters, if there is no crucial element that requires the female heir to Dorne to work, then unfortunately cutting her is a logical decision.

      Just the way it is. Not every prominent character was going to make it, and as it turns out this was one that didn’t.

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    83. King Tommen,

      Frankly, I expected this. The show is so different from the books, that it it has to be difficult for GRRM to write for it, at this point. Plus, more time spent writing the books is a plus. I wonder who will write an extra episode? Will the new writer(his name escapes me) get 2 episodes instead of 1? Or will D&D/Cogman write an extra episode? I believe Cogman said he had 2 episodes in season 5.

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    84. My previous post didn’t go through when I tried to reply to another post. It only went through when I entered it without replying.

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    85. jentario,

      In another interview with Vulture, he said he is fulfilling all his prior commitments but he is not adding any other trips to his schedule. He will not be making a set visit this year either.

        Quote  Reply

    86. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      With shooting starting Monday, so scripts are already in. I’m sure rewrites may still be going on, but scripts are done.

      Unfortunately the train is moving too fast for this to do any good. But we can always hope.

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    87. fuelpagan,

      Don’t you think introducing a character like Arianne in season 6 is leaving it way too late in the game? They’re gonna be spending time in Dorne anyway in season 5. Seems like it’s now or never. I could see maybe introducing the Greyjoy uncles in season 6 but even that feels too late. I think we’re reaching the point where casting will tell us a great deal about where D&D are going with the adaptation. I’d wager the biggest thing on their minds is setting up the endgame. Not saying they won’t introduce new characters in seasons 6 and 7 but those will probably be supporting characters. Not major players.

      But again, I could be totally wrong and maybe they have a plan to fit everything in.

        Quote  Reply

    88. fuelpagan,

      You might be right and they will intro the characters this year or next… I hope so.

      Even if they do not though, I don’t think it would make the story predictable. There is still so much going on around Westeros. Even if they remove all the sub-plots and roles I mentioned who is to say D&D cannot create their own twists that work with the remaining characters?

      I get your point, but I think D&D are capable of working things out with the cuts or without… Season 4 was the most different from the books and arguably the best season so far. Plus considering we do not know where the final two books or the final 3 seasons of the TV series will go how can anyone say it would be predictable?

      Maybe they won’t cut as much as I theorized, but there will be huge cuts to the story and many characters will be cut as well. Anyone expecting or hoping for anything different is going to be disappointed.

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    89. Sunfyre,

      I agree.
      I don’t expect any major arcs or players to be introduced after this year.

      Why would they introduce all the Dornish roles this year and then introduce Arianne the following year. That is just nonsensical to me.

      If Balon dies this year without the introduction of Euron or Victarion I do not see them coming to the series in Season 6. Maybe if they are mentioned by name and set up to appear later… but I doubt it.

      I guess they could introduce Aegon at the same time Dany is trying to sail for Westeros. It would make it a race to conquer the continent… Maybe, but I doubt it.

        Quote  Reply

    90. Sheepstealer,

      That’s actually a really good idea. Arianne could be the new Quentyn, and Trystane could be the new Arianne. But with Arianne being younger than Trystane instead.

        Quote  Reply

    91. Ellaria taking over Arianne’s role as the Queen Myrcella instigator would be brilliant. It would be revenge for Oberyn, which would be awesome. Oberyn can be the Fridge Girlfriend to a suddenly much more relevant and dangerous Ellaria Sand. And we’re not losing the woman-promoting-a-queen angle.

      Connecting the genesis of the Myrcella plot to a visceral loss we experience onscreen with Ellaria would make me invested in Dorne in a way I wasn’t, so much, in the books.

        Quote  Reply

    92. If they kill Balon Greyjoy this season and leave out his brothers, then Yara would become Queen of the Iron Islands without any competition. It wouldn’t be exactly the same, but she’d still be a woman who has essentially been raised to rule taking power. It’d avoid the Kingsmoot if D&D are looking to save time (probable) and we’d essentially have the spirit of Arianne/equal(ish) primogeniture present. Again, not as good as having Arianne outright, but it’d be adequate compensation in my opinion.

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    93. Always Winter: If they kill Balon Greyjoy this season and leave out his brothers, then Yara would become Queen of the Iron Islands without any competition.

      No, she wouldn’t necessarily. Yes, the Greyjoys are the leading house on the Iron Islands as of now and have been for a long time, but there are no lines of kings or queens there. That’s what the Kingsmoot is all about, choosing a new leader, not clearing up the question of the line of succession.

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    94. Always Winter,

      Very interesting. The show has to return to Balon in some way. They can’t let Melisandre’s leech prophecy dangle forever. Whether we see Balon’s death onscreen or Yara just hears about it the question of succession is pretty big. What you suggest could be the most economical way to tie up loose ends in the Ironborn plot and confine it to only Yara and Theon going forward.

        Quote  Reply

    95. Abyss,

      True, but the show might leave out that little detail depending on how economical they want to be with their storytelling. We’re only speculating wildly here, but the Iron Islands might not get the same treatment that Dorne is getting, i.e. they might not be spending all that much time covering Balon’s successor. I’d rather see something a little more dynamic than “Bye-bye Balon, Hello Yara” and at least one of the Greyjoy brothers, but they might just want to get Yara into Stannis’ hands as fast as possible.

        Quote  Reply

    96. Always Winter,

      I’ve wondered about that too..
      Even without the female ruler angle, it would be a way to not spend as much time on the Iron Islands and could explain why D&D have kept Yara in the viewers’ minds like they have.

      Abyss,

      True, but the Kingsmoot is not a normal occurrence. ..
      Didn’t the books say it has not happened for thousands of years? I think it is more common for a more traditional order of succession.

      Maybe in the books the rest of the Ironborn would demand a Kingsmoot instead of just accepting a woman, but on the show we have not seen any other houses from the islands or challenges to the Greyjoys. So it might make sense to have Yara succeed her father without a Kingsmoot on the show.
      *Shrug*
      I dunno… Maybe?

      I would like to see the Kingsmoot and some of Euron and Vic’s exploits myself, but I think Vic is all but cut since Daario already delivered a fleet of 93 ships to Dany..
      Here’s to keeping hope alive.

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    97. Sunfyre,

      I know she is a fan favorite, but I’ve never seen Arianne as a major player. Doran is the one playing the Game of Thrones. Arianne is a viewpoint that allows GRRM to reveal and hide information from the reader. I’m not denying that the character from the books is gone, but that doesn’t mean a daughter of Doran’s named Arianne couldn’t be introduced in season 6 to serve some purpose for the story.

      In all honesty, I don’t see the link between Arianne and Aegon at all. Aegon is presented as Elia’s son and should be enough to gain Dorne’s support.

      All I’m saying is the absence of Arianne has nothing to do with whether or not Aegon is cut.

      I expect new characters introduced every year.

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    98. Always Winter,

      Well, If they leave that detail out (which is possible), then I can absolutely see your scenario happen. I don’t know if I would like that, though, because I agree with
      Darquemode, I would like to see the Kingsmoot.

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    99. I really like the idea of Trystane playing both the role of book!Trystane as well as book!Quentyn. I’m still hoping that Arianne isn’t totally cut though and that they just aged Trystane up enough to where he’s older, and the heir, for this Moment thing. Because if Trystane dies, like you predicted, and is the outcome if Quentyn, then who will be the heir to Dorne? Hopefully if that happens, they’ll pull Arianne out and she’ll be heir. I’m not so upset about Quentyn being cut anymore because of the predictions you’ve presented here, but I’m still holding out hope for Arianne!

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    100. Wow — being able to log in here without having to either link to Facebook OR get logged out of Facebook because I don’t want to use that name here….

      I’m another one who is extremely disappointed by the exclusion of Arianne IF it’s true. It still doesn’t make much sense.

      That said, if it’s not true, it’s possible that either HBO made a mistake in their press release. Think of the whole “Night’s King” debacle. OR perhaps it’s to avoid spoilers — Arianne thinks Trystane is Doran’s heir for the same reason Arianne thought Quentyn was really there, but there’s more to the story?

      I’m not fussed about Trystane taking Quentyn’s role if necessary. Trystane is a non-entity in the books, and Quentyn comes in so late that no one would notice, really. Especially if they decide to kill off poor Myrcella rather than doing anything else.

      But Arianne ought to be there. As everyone else has said far more eloquently, she’s a major p.o.v. character, she’s a strong woman *and* a woman of colour. Pushing her aside for yet another male character (presumably Trystane) is ridiculous.

      Thrilled about Sid and Jonathan Pryce, although it’s hard to think of the still very hot Siddig El Fadil (watch him in both Atlantis and/or Da Vinci’s Demons) as the bloated, gouty, suffering Doran of book fame.

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    101. fuelpagan:
      Sunfyre,

      In all honesty, I don’t see the link between Arianne and Aegon at all. Aegon is presented as Elia’s son and should be enough to gain Dorne’s support.

      Doran is far too smart to believe that without suspicion.

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    102. Darquemode,

      Varys supporting Dany is as predictable as the sun rising tomorrow. It makes zero sense why him hiding his accent from Lys is important. Nor finding out he was in Myr as a boy when he was bought and cut. Both locations the Blackfyre’s and the Golden Company are associated with.

      Varys supporting Aegon who then turns out to be fake are the twist and turns in the plot I expect from the story.

      Why introduce the Golden Company into the show if you cut out Aegon?

      I think Bran’s story line was sped up so we can start introducing the Great Bastards and fill in more of the back story. Varys has been playing this game for a long time, and it wasn’t to support the Targaryens.

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    103. Annara Snow,

      I agree. But it doesn’t take a marriage pact to prove it one way or the other. It will come down to what type of person Connington is and what he has to say.

      Even in the books, if Doran isn’t convinced, he isn’t going to allow Arianne to marry this imposter.

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    104. Why are the new comments not showing? This is my third attempt to post this one:

      King Tommen: Jeyne Poole is not on the show. It’s a dead subject.

      Jeyne Poole is on the show. She was mentioned by name in season 1. Therefore, she exists in show canon, even though she hasn’t been cast (not counting the extra who played her in the pilot).

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    105. fuelpagan,

      In many ways I want you to be right. I’d prefer the show be as ambitious as it can possibly be. GRRM creates so many interesting characters and storylines. Complexity is good. Twists and turns are good. So I see your points.

      This is where D&D will have to make really hard choices. I don’t envy them. One thing’s for sure, whatever they do they’re gonna piss off somebody.

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    106. Love the new site, especially with short essays as above. You even made me grudgingly see why Arianne being cut may not be as tragic as it seems on first look.

      The main problem with the site of huge comment threads however is seeminlgy still around. There needs to be a way to switch that to the forums… ;)

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    107. fuelpagan,

      I hope you are right about Bran’s arc next season!
      One of my favorite parts of ASOIAF is the connection between past and present and the GB play a large role in that.

      I do agree with you in principal on a lot of your points if looked at through the prism of the books. The problem with that to me is that so much of the information you bring up has never been touched on in the TV series…. At least not yet.

      I completely agree about Varys being predictable if he is a Dany supporter, but I honestly do not see a problem with that in the TV series. The books are about twists and turns, nuance and misdirection… The TV show has not been about that nearly as much. I’m not sure Varys’s motives or endgame need to be as complex for the TV series…. or if they even need to figure into the endgame of the series honestly.

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    108. Sunfyre,

      I don’t envy D&D for making the hard choices either. But we are discussing the fate of a choice that is still unknown. I know they are huge fans of the story and are doing there very best in adapting it for the screen. They went out and produced this show and found out the ending before anyone else did. That’s hard core.

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    109. Darquemode,

      There’s been plenty of twist and turns in the show. The Red Wedding, Purple Wedding, Ned’s execution. The twist and turns in Tyrion’s fate last season. D&D are doing justice to the story for the most part.

      Actually the only parts not presented in the show is the idea of the Blackfyres escaping to Lys, Myr and Tyrosh. Oberyn sniffed out Varys accent from Lys last season. I’m not positive if Myr was mentioned when Varys talked about being cut, but I think it was. But it was mentioned his hatred from sorcery. And given the book knowledge about Bloodraven and sorcery you can see how Blackfyres would be against sorcery.

      For me the mystery of Varys history only makes sense if he is up to something mysterious. Like putting a fake on the throne. There is no point to the mystery if he is simply trying to put the daughter of his original king on the throne. That’s pretty cut and dry.

      We got a taste of the Golden Company this season. Next season we have the opportunity to learn a lot more about them.

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    110. Annara Snow:
      Why are the new comments not showing? This is my third attempt to post this one:

      Jeyne Poole is on the show. She was mentioned by name in season 1. Therefore, she exists in show canon, even though she hasn’t been cast (not counting the extra who played her in the pilot).

      Well of course they had the fanservice cameo of her in the pilot. What I meant is that she is not on the show playing FArya the way most fans have been speculating for like 3 years now. Clearly they are doing something different with that storyline (either completely or with a different character playing the role). Jeyne Poole had her time in the sun staring vacantly for her 15 seconds of screentime in the pilot. She is no more.

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    111. For some reason, my “reply” comments didn’t post, so I wanted to add this:

      I hope Arianne is still in the show, but I find it unlikely. Although Dorne does treat its bastard children with greater respect than the rest of Westeros, I don’t see any of the Sand Snakes encompassing a role as legitimate heir, so it will fall to a boy, Trystane

      I was also hoping that the Sand Snakes would be a little more ethnically diverse. Oberyn, was fond of, shall we say, sampling people from different areas. I can imagine the Esos heritage in the woman cast for Nym, but I don’t see Ellaria or Oberyn in Tyene and I don’t see a Dornish heritage in the woman playing Obara. They look too Caucasian for these roles. I hope I will be pleasantly surprised in 10 short months.

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    112. Great comments, all. Loving the participation. Even Cumsprite is here! (Hi, mom!)

      Loving more the varied and thoughtful musings we’re getting here. I agree with the thought that fAegon might be cut, which could be one of the reasons Arianne is cut. I am very interested to see what David and Dan do from this point on, knowing that they know the books’ endgames.

      Thirty episodes left to find out!

      (I doubt they will end with a movie. But it’s possible!)

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    113. jentario,

      I love everything about your comment.

      The Sand Snakes are fine, but yeah, they’re very one dimensional. Arianne is complicated. Arianne makes the whole Myrcella plotline make sense. And she makes it even more poignant, when it is revealed to her that her little adventure that ended in the death of her lover and the maiming of a little girl, was for nothing, because Doran was not disinheriting her as she feared.

      That story is tragic, and exciting, and heartbreaking, and amazing. LOL PLOT TWIST MYRCELLA IS QUEEN NOW HAHA YOLO is not nearly as interesting.

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    114. King Tommen: Well of course they had the fanservice cameo of her in the pilot. What I meant is that she is not on the show playing FArya the way most fans have been speculating for like 3 years now.Clearly they are doing something different with that storyline (either completely or with a different character playing the role). Jeyne Poole had her time in the sun staring vacantly for her 15 seconds of screentime in the pilot. She is no more.

      I’m very curious about where they’re going with this plotline. They definitely have the Boltons & Theon heading to Winterfell, so it seems likely that they’ll be doing something there. They could potentially cut the fake-Arya story completely and give Theon something completely different to do in Winterfell, but if that’s the case, I don’t really even know where to begin speculating.

      If they decide to include some version of the fake-Arya storyline, then they need to either:
      1) Have the fake-Arya role be taken by some already established character (like the Edric Storm->Gendry change).
      or
      2) Have fake-Arya be a newly introduced character.

      I find option #1 relatively unlikely because I can’t think of any established characters who could work. I could see Yara possibly filling the role as someone Theon might want to rescue if she was captured by the Boltons, but she definitely couldn’t be passed off as Arya, both due to her age, appearance, and the fact that the Northerners know her because she just recently took Deepwood Motte. This moves more into “new storyline” speculation rather than “fake-Arya” speculation.

      If the “fake-Arya” storyline remains as a story of Ramsay marrying someone being passed off as Arya Stark, then I think the most likely case is #2. The thing is, they have to give some explanation of who she is. They could have Roose present her to Ramsay as “Arya Stark” and tell him to marry her to secure their claim to the North.

      The audience will of course know it isn’t really Arya, and probably wonder who she really is. Leaving this completely unresolved to the audience would probably not be a good idea, so it makes sense for them to give her a backstory which could be revealed through converstaions with Theon (who would likely recognize that she isn’t Arya, regardless of who she is).

      They could go for something really unrelated, give her some random name that’s never been mentioned, and have her backstory be just “some girl they grabbed off the street, or from one of Littlefinger’s brothels”, whose only relevant feature is not being the real Arya. That would work, though I wouldn’t find it particularly satisfying.

      The thing is, it really takes no more effort for this “new character” to be named Jeyne Poole, and her backstory be “My father was the steward of Winterfell, we went to King’s Landing with Lord Eddard, and I was forced to work in Littlefinger’s brothel after my father was killed by the Lannisters.” The advantage of this is that it not only allows Theon to recognize that she isn’t Arya, it also allows him to recognize who she is, and it gives some explanation for why he might start remembering who he is.

      I certainly don’t expect her to be played by the same extra who played Jeyne Poole in episode 1, but there’s no reason a “new character” playing the role of fake-Arya couldn’t be handled in the same way they handled Beric Dondarrion in season 1 vs season 3.

      In season 1, Beric was an extra who was mentioned only once as far as I can remember. He was recast and was essentially a “new character” in season 3, but there was no reason to change his name or backstory. I see no reason they couldn’t do the same with Jeyne Poole, and I think if they have anyone pretending to be Arya and marrying Ramsay, I suspect this is what they’ll do.

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    115. Axechucker,

      Axe, really nice work on this post. And I really hope we see lots and LOTS of such debate-type posts in the weeks, months and years to come on this site. And Sue, well done with the moderation so far too, I appreciate how inclusive this site seems, and I hope as we go forward that we go with the knowledge that the books are the books, and the show is the show. Which doesn’t mean that we can’t miss things that don’t happen in the books – we all do – but the latter months of WIC.net comment boards turned into endless complaints of how the showrunners were stupid for changing things, and it was super-tedious.

      Now, on to Arianne. I’m with those who are hurt by this cut – I really do think that’s a great character, the first chop that actually matters (no, Strong Belwas and Coldhands do not qualify). However, I’m guessing that what will happen is that her primary character traits are going to be given to other characters, and I think a “legitimizing” of the Sand Snakes is also certainly possible too.

      The other thing is that unlike the books, the show does not have infinite space for which to operate. Arianne’s a main character in Dorne, but yet that still makes her the main character in a side plot, and as far as the show is concerned, when it comes to developing character and focusing on stories we care about, it’s Starks, Lannisters and Daenarys Targaryen first, everyone else second.

      The other part of this is considering the people they’ve hired already. Ellaria Sand in the books more or less disappears after she returns to Dorne. But we’ve got Indira Varma to work with here, and so if she takes the role of being the primary instigator of the Queenmaker plot, well, then all the better.

      Also, as far as the Sand Snakes, people do tend to celebrate their “bad-assery” to a high degree, but sometimes what’s lost is that in the books they don’t really do much of anything. They berate Doran for Oberyn’s death, and then get locked up for their trouble. Why not have the Snakes be the ones who escort Myrcella during the Queenmaker plot (if it happens that way) instead of the utterly forgettable crop of people Arianne takes with her (and while a lot of people will miss Arianne, I don’t see anyone up in this discussion clamoring for Arys Oakheart, who, if he survives, will be “Kingsguard dude who gets bludgeoned by the awesome looking Areo Hotah”).

      Another thing when it comes to acting chops – we’ve got the amazing Kiesha Castle-Hughes as Obara Sand here, and if we need someone to portray a similar kind of psychological concern that comes with being Arianne, well, she’s a perfect one for it. (This does raise the question of why not just make her Arianne, and, well, yeah, that’s perhaps a missed opportunity. But the fact that they’re casting someone strong, beautiful and yet very soulful suggests they may give Obara some of Arianne’s characteristics. I hope this is the case.)

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    116. Words of Winter: I was also hoping that the Sand Snakes would be a little more ethnically diverse. Oberyn, was fond of, shall we say, sampling people from different areas. I can imagine the Esos heritage in the woman cast for Nym, but I don’t see Ellaria or Oberyn in Tyene and I don’t see a Dornish heritage in the woman playing Obara. They look too Caucasian for these roles. I hope I will be pleasantly surprised in 10 short months.

      Oy.

      Nym is half-Asian background. So that’s a very distinct look to the others.

      Obara is of Maori descent and has a coloring very similar to Pedro Pascal.

      Tyene is the lightest complexioned one, but Rosabell Sellers actually happens to look more like Indira Varma than the others, which I’d think is intentional.

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    117. Cumsprite:
      Now so long (m)Arianne it’s time book nerds began
      To laugh and cry and cry and laugh about casting again

      I’m in the laughing camp.

      Loved that Cohen reference, but how can u talk about nerds with that avatar?

      Dorne i my least favourite part of the books so I don’t care they cut her, but we do get everything else in there and a Romeo and Juliete story? Mmm dunno tbh, I rather they cut Dorne altoguether

      Regarding Pyke I think Axey is right and will be the new thing in S6, just no Victarion…

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    118. Hey guys.
      As a book reader and a show praiser, right now I feel worried about the decisions being made by D n’ D. Yes, I know they are focusing on the endgame, still, characters being cut needed their space on the screen. Like some of you have said, how we will know that Doran is really a player without Quentyn and Arianne around, to prove that he is as scorndriven as Obery with the loss of Elia, decades ago?

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    119. pau,

      Oh, dear. You’ve misunderstood, or maybe I was too nuanced. I’m so full of nuance it dribbles off my chin: I am indeed a nerd — just the laughing kind.

      Anyway, welcome to the new site. I honestly didn’t expect you to come.

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    120. I think talking openly about new characters such as Arianne or Darkstar is the same spoiler click-bait WIC was doing and one of the reasons i stopped going there for news about the show, i think you guys should me more careful with what kind of information you put forward on your site and keep in mind there are a lot of unsullied who come here for news.
      What’s the point of adding a spoiler disclaimer on the text o the report when the spoiler is in the title! (plus the accompanying picture).

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    121. Logan:
      I think talking openly about new characters such as Arianne or Darkstar is the same spoiler click-bait WIC was doing and one of the reasons i stopped going there for news about the show, i think you guys should me more careful with what kind of information you put forward on your site and keep in mind there are a lot of unsullied who come here for news.
      What’s the point of adding a spoiler disclaimer on the text o the report when the spoiler is in the title! (plus the accompanying picture).

      1. The name Arianne and the picture means nothing to Unsullied and is therefore no spoiler. Fansided did provide more dangerous spoilers like mentioning the connection betwenn Lady Stoneheart and Michelle Fairley (in their stupid poll).

      2. The probable omission of a prominent POV character from the show is a topic that should be discussed and this post is the perfect place for it.

      3. The post was very well written and made me look the topic another way. Give me more of this “klickbait”!

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    122. “The name Arianne and the picture means nothing to Unsullied and is therefore no spoiler”
      That’s exactly why it’s a spoiler.

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    123. I’m torn on this. Arianne was never a favorite POV character, and when her stupidity led to Myrcella getting maimed, I was so disappointed. I’m actually glad we won’t have to see a potentially strong female character (Arianne) make such a stupid, stupid blunder on the show. Also, glad to not have another reason to show graphic sex scenes, although this time it would have been a woman encouraging them.

      That said, I don’t see why they needed 3 Sandsnakes and 0 Arianne if the intent was to reduce/merge characters. I never cared much about the Sandsnakes, other than thinking the idea of them was quite cool. I feel like Ellaria was underutilized in season 4, which is odd considering how good of an actress Indira Varma is. I would be quite happy if she takes on the Arianne plot to name Myrcella Queen.

      I guess we just wait and see what D&D’s big plan is. At this point, my guess is that Arianne is not important in the long run.

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    124. I don’t understand why changing Ellaria’s character. She was there with Oberyn and she knows it was mainly his fault he died, so why in Dorne she will go all apeshit crazy about revenge?

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    125. Logan,

      No, they know nowthat a character named Arianne exists and that she has to be somehow important hence the discussion. They do not know why she is important or what she will do.

      Otherwise, if they hear that a character is returning whose name was already mentioned in the show thats a far more dangerous spoiler – e. g. Stannis before Season 2, Mance before Season, The 3 eyed raven before season 4 and thats something that was often mentionened in casting calls.

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    126. The_Rabbit01,

      I think Aegon was planned. If you look at AFFC and ADWD as Book 4, then the pieces on the board had to be reset after the death count of ASOS. I always thought Aegon was the new Robb, a young idealistic potential King with a claim who we could root for.

      Also King Henry VII, whose crowning ended the Wars of the Roses, got his claim to the English throne via a legitimized bastard line of King Edward III, and GRRM has taken inspiration from this period in history.

      So two potential ways to look at Aegon as always planned. Not to mention that Varys has never taken any action to place Viserys or Dany on the throne, and sending them both off with the Dothraki was super risky if that was the end game.

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    127. One of the biggest problems I see in your theory is that if there will be no Arianne and Tystane is going to do the whole Quentyn thing, in the end, all of the Martell’s heirs will be dead.
      And this may affect other plots that might show up in the nexts books/seasons.

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    128. First of all congrats on the new site. Already finding it give excellent up to date info,scoops and great discussion. Keep up the good work :)

      On the Arianne issue

      Is she cut from this season? I think so. Is she cut all together? I’m not sure yet.
      I think that the Sand Snakes ( who I’m not fond of and don’t get the fan frenzy over such shallow, undeveloped characters) will do most of the heavy-lifting in the Queenmaker plot with perhaps Trystane ( who I assume is doing Quentyne duties as well now). Ultimately I think Trsytane is going to meet the same fiery end as Quentyne but it’s what happens in the Queenmaker incident that will be more interesting.
      Personally, I think Myrcella will either die or suffer her mutilation and be kept as a bargaining tool for Dorne (perhaps being lied to about why Trystane is leaving yet keeping King’s Landing thinking that the marriage is still going to go ahead). I think this is a given as I think Jaime’s lack of success in returning her to Cersei will be what causes the rift between them. For this to work though I think the Dorne stuff is going to have to go down at the start of the season to give time for Cersei’s fall from grace and Jaime’s lack of support for her in it.
      Back to Dorne. With Trystane heading off to find a new bride (with Myrcella unavailable for whatever reason) then it could make way for them to introduce Arianne (perhaps not this season but the next) and build her as someone who is there to enact Doran’s plan (which by the end of Feast and DwD she is really) , manipulate Myrcella (if need be) and be a potential bride for Aegon ( I can’t see how they can cut him as he drives a lot of storylines). I can imagine at least one of the Sand Snakes being killed too (Hotah never liked them in the books!). To be honest, I think it’s gonna be Obara as with no Balon Swann or Darkstar she’s not gonna have anything to do!
      I’m not a fan of them cutting Arianne at all, especially when they’re including The Sand Snakes who are pretty much there for stylistic purposes ( even more so now they’ve prettied up Obara and Nym). If it is to be though I hope they knt it together the best they can. Already worried what they’re going to do Jaime’s character down there. Please don’t have him lose to Obara in a swordfight…even with one hand! Think his character has been sacrificed enough to give credibility to others.

      N.B. I tried putting in spoiler tags but alas…

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    129. Great article. Although I’m usually all about the ladies in ASOIAF/GoT and I do like Arianne, I can see the logic in cutting her. If (as seems likely) her role in the story is tied very closely to Aegon’s, and if (as I also think is probably the case) his storyline is ultimately peripheral, then it makes sense to cut them both, avoid overloading viewers with new characters who aren’t crucial to the story, and concentrate the 30ish hours of remaining screen time on the characters we already know. It’s a shame and I wish it wasn’t the case, but if the situation is what I outlined above and Arianne ultimately doesn’t have a huge role to play, then the decision to cut her is probably the best one under the circumstances. With the Sand Snakes and Ellaria, hopefully there will be plenty of evidence of the different gender roles in Dorne – and as the article points out, there’s still plenty of scope for introducing the female primogeniture issue with Myrcella. Also, I wouldn’t say that removing Arianne means we won’t see any women aiming to rule in their own right. There’s Dany for starters, and Asha/Yara will presumably stake her claim at some point. And who knows what’s in store for Sansa? True, the Dornish laws of succession are different and part of what makes Dorne far and away the best of the seven kingdoms. But Arianne isn’t the only woman with a chance to rule, and there will continue to be other avenues for exploring the issue of women in leadership roles.

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    130. Schrödinger’s Cat,

      Cersei’s not above hiring a bastard for the small council if they’re useful/loyal to her – see Aurane Waters, and it’s not like Qyburn is exactly highborn either. More problematic would be her having any trust whatsoever for Ellaria, considering the whole Mountain killing Oberyn thing.

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    131. Count me in the Anti-Arianne army.

      I thought her plotline was interesting in the books, but I never cared for her as a character that much, so I can totally see why cutting her out makes sense.

      In the condensed format of the tv serie, viewers can’t be made to care for her birthright. She would only appear shallow, whiny and very unlikable. Some people mention how great and complex her storyline is, and while in a book, complexity is a marvelous thing, in a tv serie with that many characters and plots, it’s a solid reason in itself to cut Arianne out entirely.

      On the other hand, we have Sand Snakes, as outraged over the death of Oberyn as tv viewers are. Seriously, talking to unsullied around me, I see they’re VERY intrigued by Oberyn’s daughters, they already love them, they already root for their revenge.

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    132. Jared,

      About what the Sand snakes should be doing, you forgot Tyene’s mission. Tyene is supposed to contact the new Great Septon. So, now Doran has his pieces established this way:
      1º. Trystane is with Myrcella.
      2º. Arianne is going to check up on Aegon, and has taken Doreza (I think) with her.
      3º. Nym is going to spy on the court at King’s Landing.
      4º. Tyene is going to spy on the church high echelons of power at King’s Landing.

      I think all of them are important.

      I am pissed off about Arianne disappearing. It’s not that I liked her much, but I wanted her to be in.

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    133. Axechucker,

      The more I think about this kind of thing the more I think you are correct. I also just checked IMDbPro. Gemma Whelan is in pre-production for a BBC miniseries at the moment. She doesn’t appear to be playing a huge character, so it is possible that she could fit in filming for GoT and this min-Series, but with no news on the casting of other Greyjoys, I would think that the Ironborn won’t be troubling us this season.

      That said, should they get around to this plot line in season 6, I suspect we will get Euron cast, but Yara will take the role of Victarion…or at least his tasks in the books, leading the Iron Fleet to assist Dany at the battle of Meereen.

      Trystane will fill in for Quentyn in the way you suggest, Ellaria will be the Queenmaker and one of the other Sand Snakes will take over Ariannes’s chapters from The Winds of Winter. When Trystanne gets turned into a stick of charcoal and Doran has no Heirs, the matter of female succession will become an issue as the crown of Dorne should pass to Oberyn or his projeny

      All very interesting possibilites.

      ~Gates

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    134. I think you are correct… at least with respect to how they will use that “moment”. However, it doesn’t make me any less pissed off about them eliminating one of the strongest willed characters in the books… a woman at that.

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    135. At this point i’m expecting the Dorne storyline to be completely different from the books. The Queenmaker plot will exist but everything about it will be new. I also wouldn’t be surprised if one of the main reasons they’re focusing on Trystane is that they want to create a love story between them. As if that worked well with Robb.

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    136. Arianne had some quotable lines in the books [can't remember off the top of my head] but the one about shining as brightly as Nymeria’s star was pretty good. Also it would have given a chance for a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern/North African* actress to shine. (*Though I suppose the coastal part of North Africa IS Mediterranean). Whether her omission will affect the TV show drastically I can’t say – there’s the old adage about “what you’ve never had you never miss”.

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    137. Perhaps the most simplest scenario is that Arianne is eldest and alive and rightful heir, but Doran did in fact disinherit and imprison her. Then in season 6 she comes into play after Trystane is offed. They’ll have to figure out how to reconcile her with Doran, but that’s where the drama will be.

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